Schroders boosts social impact ambitions with BlueOrchard deal
Global investment manager is acquiring majority stake in Swiss impact investor which offers investment solutions across asset classes
Global investment manager Schroders is upping its commitment in impact investing in emerging markets, after it announced it was entering an agreement with Swiss firm BlueOrchard under which Schroders will acquire a majority stake in the Geneva-based impact investor.
The move is likely to have a significant effect in Asia.
Founded in 2001, BlueOrchard is a pioneer in microfinance and impact investing, and claims to be the world’s first commercial manager of microfinance debt investments. As of May 30, it had about US$3.5 billion in assets under management. Through its international network, the firm offers investors premium impact investment solutions across asset classes, including credit, private equity and sustainable infrastructure and is an expert in innovative blended finance mandates.
For Schroders, the partnership will bolster the expansion of its sustainability capabilities. It also accelerates the growth of Schroders in private debt and private equity investments in emerging markets. For the impact investment firm, partnering with Schroders will enable BlueOrchard to further drive innovation and growth and increase its impact across emerging and frontier markets.
There will be no changes to the management team, processes or strategies that BlueOrchard manages, according to the press release from the firms.
The deal is likely to bolster the firms’ Asian presence where impact investment while still nascent is set for exponential growth. BlueOrchard has been present in the region for almost a decade having opened its first Asian office in Phnom Penh in 2010.
As The Asset has previously reported, the impact investing market is growing quickly in Asia with Singapore well positioned to become the leading impact investing hub in the region.
BlueOrchard opened in Singapore last year, reinforcing its presence in the fast-growing Asian market. It currently manages two funds, the Microfinance Initiative for Asia (MIFA) and the Japan ASEAN Women Empowerment Fund (JAWEF), which address exclusively sustainable growth in the Asia-Pacific.
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