Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

Asset manger Stanlib, through its credit alternatives unit, has launched its first impact investment fund that will pursue investment opportunities that aim to galvanise SA’s economic development, the company said on Thursday.

The Khanyisa fund, from the Zulu word that means to illuminate, will spark economic and social benefits through investments in the country’s infrastructure, inclusive financial services and agricultural sectors.

Head of investments at Stanlib, Mark Lovett said the Stanlib Khanyisa Impact Investment Fund represents the company’s next step in its environmental, social and governance (ESG) journey at a crucial time for SA.

“The fund’s impact objectives will provide measurable development benefits for investors in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals,” Lovett said.

According to its website, Stanlib’s credit alternatives unit manages more than R55bn in assets across portfolio offerings, including diversified credit, impact and development credit, as well as pan-Africa fixed-income and debt portfolios.

The fund will help drive private capital into impact-themed investments that will directly address a range of the SA’s socio-economic challenges.

The fund will focus on investments that aim to increase economic capacity-building via transformational infrastructure; reduce income inequality by funding small and medium enterprises (SMEs); address affordable housing; have healthcare projects; improve food security; and provide wider access to renewable energy,” Stanlib said.

It will also comprise a diversified pool of credit exposures offering higher yields than traditional fixed-income propositions, regular income distributions and long-term capital preservation, the company said.

Stanlib said the fund’s objective is to generate a return of consumer price inflation plus 4.5%, over a period of 12 months.

“The closed-ended, limited liability partnership fund is available in the institutional market, with a first, close target during the second half of 2020,” the company said.

The new fund will “complement and strengthen” Stanlib’s existing impact assets, which make up a quarter of its credit alternative total assets under management, Johan Marnewick, head of Stanlib credit alternatives said. 

Its impact assets “have successfully generated returns for clients while achieving tangible socio-economic and environmental benefits”. 

thukwanan@businesslive.co.za