Baar-Zug, Switzerland, 27 March 2018
Partners Group launches PG LIFE, an investment strategy focused on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals
Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager, has launched a dedicated investment strategy that will address global social and environmental challenges by investing exclusively in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). The blended private markets strategy, named PG LIFE, has the dual mandate to achieve attractive risk-adjusted financial returns alongside measurable, positive social and environmental impact. André Frei, Co-CEO, Partners Group, states: "We are a committed leader in responsible investment. All of our investments are subject to a robust ESG integration strategy, which has earned A+ ratings in the last three consecutive years in the UN PRI's annual ESG assessment. The PG LIFE strategy builds on our decade-long, strong track record of responsible investment and takes the approach one step further, with a mandate to invest in private companies and assets for the purpose of contributing to specific UN SDGs, without compromising on financial performance." The UN introduced the 17 SDGs in 2015 to act as a framework for the global community's sustainable development priorities until 2030. Since they were launched, Partners Group has through its dedicated direct investment programs invested an average of more than USD 1 billion annually on behalf of its clients into companies and assets pursuing a strategy consistent with certain of the SDGs. In particular, the SDGs relating to education, healthcare, energy access, clean energy, and social inclusion have been focal points of Partners Group's investment activities and will also be the focus of PG LIFE's investment strategy. To support the launch of PG LIFE, Partners Group is assembling an external council to provide advice on strategic aspects including impact measurement methodology. Confirmed members of the PG LIFE International Advisory Council include Vuk Jeremic, President of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly, and Cesar Purisima, Secretary of Finance for the Philippines from 2010 to 2016. Urs Wietlisbach, Co-Founder of Partners Group and a Member of its Board of Directors, has also joined the LIFE Council. The PG LIFE strategy was introduced at Partners Group's 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) for clients, held at Bürgenstock in Switzerland from 14 to 16 March, where Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Education and former Prime Minister of the UK, shared his views on the need for private capital to contribute to achieving the SDGs, especially in the areas of education and infrastructure. He later joined the inaugural meeting of the LIFE Council, which was held during the AGM. Vuk Jeremic, who during his tenure as the President of the UN General Assembly launched the negotiations that led to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the development of the SDGs, comments: "The UN Commission on Trade and Development estimated that meeting the SDGs would require USD 5-7 trillion in annual investment from 2015 to 2030, and it is estimated that between USD 4-6 trillion of this is required from private capital sources. It is therefore fantastic to see a private markets firm like Partners Group launch a dedicated investment strategy in support of the SDGs. With its focus on value creation and its long-term investment horizon, private markets capital is ideally placed to contribute to achieving these goals." Partners Group's track record of responsible investment goes back to 2006. In 2008, the firm became one of the first private markets investors to sign the UN Principles for Responsible Investment. In 2015, Partners Group supported the launch of PG Impact Investments, a global impact investment firm focusing on finding investment solutions to address the world's most pressing social challenges. Kevin Lu, Partner and Chairman of Asia at Partners Group, will chair the Impact Committee for PG LIFE. He states: "PG LIFE was launched in response to clients who asked us to build on our existing ESG integration capabilities and create a mainstream private markets fund delivering quantifiable social and environmental impact. We believe that there is a genuine interest from many long-term investors globally in such strategies as a potential complement to more traditional impact investment funds, which tend to be smaller-scale and focused on more niche investments."