Nordic pension trio to plug over €4bn into climate infra fund

The fund will target renewable assets in both Europe and North America and is open to further commitments from additional investors.

A trio of Nordic investors have agreed to commit up to €4 billion to a new “climate infrastructure fund”, one of the largest ever of its kind.

Danish pensions PKA and PenSam have joined forces with Storebrand Asset Management, part of Norwegian financial services provider, the Storebrand Group, which is also the parent company of Storebrand Life Insurance. Storebrand Asset Management became a shareholder of the Danish duo’s investment company AIP Management, as well as an investor in the new fund named AIP Infrastructure II.

PKA and PenSam were the only investors in AIP Infrastructure I, committing roughly €2 billion in total. The fund is currently 90 percent invested, a spokeswoman for AIP told Infrastructure Investor.

The new €4 billion fund will double the assets under management currently held by AIP, which is dominated by renewable energy assets in Europe and the US, while it recently added a UK rolling stock deal to its portfolio. AIP Infrastructure II aims to “to reduce climate change and advance the green transition”, according to a statement, and will continue to invest in both Europe and the US.

While Storebrand has previously made commitments to infrastructure funds, this move is its first step in the management of such assets, although this was not for a lack of trying.

“We have been looking for various ways to invest into the asset class for quite some time,” Jan Erik Saugestad, chief executive of Storebrand Asset Management, told Infrastructure Investor. “Through this partnership we are able to co-invest in sustainable infrastructure projects with like-minded asset owners when it comes to investment targets, ESG policies and a common drive to make an impact. In our minds, partnerships are key to make progress on sustainable issues so we were not just looking for a partner, we were looking for the right partner, which we now have found.”

The move follows on from Storebrand’s announcement in August that it would be strengthening its climate investment policies, which would see it exclude companies “that actively lobby against the Paris Agreement and climate regulation” and increase capital towards renewable energy projects.

Saugestad added that Storebrand sees AIP Infrastructure II as a “very attractive and sought-after investment vehicle” and that the fund could be open to further co-investors.