A new fund from the federal government has appointed a Perpetual subsidiary as its trustee while a consortium of global managers has won the investment management mandate.
The Emerging Markets Impact Investment Fund (EMIIF) will invest in small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in that improve the lives of the poor, and build the impact investing market in South and South East Asia.
The fund is operational from today.
Perpetual's The Trust Company (RE Services) will be the new fund's trustee following an open tender process.
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Meanwhile, a consortium led by Sarona Asset Management Inc. will act as the investment manager. It will partner with MEDA, Volta Capital and the Whitelum Group.
"Sarona is an experienced fund investor in frontier and emerging markets with a commitment to investing for environmental, social and governance impact as well as for profit," Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement.
Perpetual Corporate Trust general manager Glen Dogan said: "We are seeing a growing interest in social impact funds across the private and public sectors. The EMIIF is the first such fund for the Australian government and we are delighted to be a part of this initiative."
"We are proud to play a part in the operation of the fund, which will have a positive impact on gender equality, poverty alleviation and economic growth in the Indo-Pacific."
Perpetual Corporate Trust will provide the fiduciary and governance oversight for EMIIF's investments, partnering with a consortium of international investment management firms and other suppliers, to deliver the project.
"This is a significant mandate with an essential and influential government department, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, reinforcing Perpetual Corporate Trust's position as the leading provider of trustee and RE services in Australia."
The EMIIF will operate in countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and other Pacific Islands.
It will invest across a variety of sectors including agriculture, healthcare, education, financial inclusion and clean energy, according to DFAT.
It will not offer grants and instead use loans, equity and guarantees to encourage additional investment into investee funds from private investors, while also providing technical assistance to SME funds and SMEs.