ADM Capital’s food-focused Cibus Fund successfully closed at more than $320 million following its designation as the first Guernsey Green Fund.
Subscriptions for the Guernsey fund, launched in 2017, stood at $208 million at the end of September 2018. By the time it closed a month later, after registering as a Guernsey Green Fund in mid-October, it stood at $322 million.
“Clearly there were a number of contributing factors, but I do think an important factor in bringing in those later funds, getting investors who were thinking about it to actually commit, was the Guernsey Green Fund designation,” said Jeremy Alun-Jones, Group Chief Operating Officer at ADM Capital, who spoke at the London launch event for the umbrella body Guernsey Green Finance.
Mr Alun-Jones said that ADM Capital, which has been in business for 21 years, had a long history of sustainable investing, and awareness of global environmental issues. It has invested for the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries, which for many years has been important in developing ADM Capital’s thinking in this area.
The company believes in the Guernsey Green Fund and what it stands for, he added.
“Investors are looking for confidence from verification and authentication, some of these things mean different things to different people, and investment managers do not have enough time to work out for themselves exactly what these things mean to them. What we thought was very appealing in the Guernsey Green Fund initiative was a clear signature of verification, which was why we chose to register, and why we are very proud to be the first Guernsey Green Fund.”
He said that the Guernsey Green Fund was mirroring market developments in awareness and popularity of green and sustainable investing.
Dr Andy Sloan, Chair of Guernsey Green Finance and Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy, for Guernsey Finance, commented: “Our vision is that the confidence in the robustness and legitimacy of the Guernsey Green Fund helps make the sustainable capital raising process that little bit easier. In a way it is our contribution to climate change mitigation. It is therefore exceptionally pleasing to see that this seems to have been the case on the very first time round for ADM Capital.”
ADM Capital has a track record of investing in the agribusiness sector, looking to reduce the negative impact of agriculture on the environment. It has followed a thesis-driven approach which shows that demand for high-value food in many of the world’s fastest-growing regions exceeds regional production and processing capacity. The Cibus Fund also raised an additional $130 million for co-investment opportunities.
The Guernsey Green Fund, the world’s first regulated green investment fund product, was launched earlier this year by the global specialist finance centre of Guernsey. It offers a green “kitemark” for Guernsey funds which invest 75% of assets in projects and companies which will have a positive environmental impact on the planet, monitored against internationally-recognised criteria.
Guernsey has also recently become a member of the United Nations’ International Network of Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) and is a founder member of the European Network of FC4S.