Deutsche Bank preps climate change fund

As part of its clean tech investment drive, the German bank’s asset management division is in the early stages of developing a fund exclusively devoted to climate change technology.

Deutsche Bank’s $800 billion (€506.2 million) asset management division has been developing a private equity fund exclusively devoted to investments in climate change technology.

The fund, part of a broader climate change initiative launched last year, is in its preliminary stages, according to a spokesman from the asset manager’s New York offices.

Deutsche Bank Asset Management (DeAm) declined comment on any specific fund details, including its size, industry targets, fundraising sources, or whether the fund would come under the management of the division’s private equity arm, RREEF.

Chief executive Kevin Parker revealed the fund’s existence in an interview with the Financial Times last week.

Parker’s revelation represents just one aspect of DeAm’s growing interest in green investments.

DeAm currently manages $12 billion in climate-change related assets, according to Parker. Last October, the asset manager appointed managing director Mark Fulton to the new role of climate change strategist and published a white paper on the impact of global warming on investing.

Parker indicated that he hopes to broaden DeAm’s green portfolio from investments purely in retail ventures into institutional investments.

Deutsche Bank’s ventures into private equity have met mixed success over the last few years, as the German financial giant has shown signs of both retreating from and expanding into the alternative asset class.

Last October, Deutsche Bank divested DB Capital Partners, its Australia-focussed private equity firm, to its local managers. Earlier that year, Deutsche Bank also sold its stake in Deutsche Beteiligungs, one of Germany’s oldest and most distinguished private equity firms.

In contrast to those retreats, 2007 also witnessed RREEF Private Equity, DeAm’s prominent fund of funds manager, purchasing a minority stake in Dallas-based Aldus Private Equity.

Climate change and clean tech funds have become increasingly popular investment destinations in recent years, with several venture capital and buyout firms raising funds similar to that of Deutsche Bank’s.

London-based Climate Change Captial is currently investing a $316 million fund dedicated to expanding high growth clean tech businesses.  In a more high-profile example, US venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has teamed with Al Gore’s London-based public equities investment firm to pursue investments in green technologies.