Former Vice President Al Gore’s investment firm Generation Investment Management, LLP, which he co-founded in 2004 with David Blood, former head of asset management at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., may be readying itself to launch a $500 million fund that will seek out stocks from socially responsible companies in Asia. Generation is based in London.
According to Bloomberg, the news broke Sunday about plans to begin the fund that will focus on sustainability. The company only looks for stocks that will rise, not fall, so investments will be long-only purchases that focus on long-term results rather than short-term gains.
The new fund will look for investments within the region, including China and India, as those countries’ demand for natural resources exerts an ever-increasing pressure on the global economy. According to unnamed sources, it is possible that the new fund may launch by July.
Generation primarily seeks wealthy and pension fund clients, and stopped accepting new money for its main global equity fund after it reached approximately $5 billion in assets. The firm’s earnings nearly quadrupled in 2009, and according to the U.K. Environment Agency’s pension fund, which invests in the company, it beat its benchmark, the MSCI World Index, by 10 points for the 12 months ended in March of 2010. Bloomberg said that MSCI World Index had risen 47% in the same time period.
The new fund is to be kept separate from the company’s venture capital business. In order for an investment to be considered for the new fund, companies must meet Generation’s investment guidelines regarding the way they manage their financial development; this means they must “strategically manag[e] their economic, social and environmental performance, ” which includes sustainability and stewardship.