New Fund with Ambition To Provide $1 Billion Capital for New Banking Paradigm

Delivering growth capital globally to real economy banking serving real human needs

PARIS, FRANCE, 11 March 2015: The Sustainability | Finance | Real Economies fund (SFRE, pronounced Sapphire) has been launched. SFRE is the first global open-ended investment company created to deploy substantial amounts of long-term capital to support the growing segment of banks focused on serving individuals and enterprises in the real economy whilst delivering a triple bottom line of prosperity, planet and people.

SFRE was initiated by the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) to meet growth capital needs of values-based banks, and expand their impact and reach. “SFRE is a concrete example of positive financial innovation focused on meeting human needs in the real economy.” said Peter Blom, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, and CEO of Triodos Bank (The Netherlands). “Our research identified approximately 2,000 banks with this focus having assets of USD 600 billion and equity of USD 65 billion. They represent a significant, growing, positive-money movement that requires and deserves new sources of growth capital.”

“This is a great investment opportunity,” said Clara Miller, president of The F.B. Heron Foundation, an anchor investor in SFRE. “During the last five years banks with a social, environmental and economic mission at the core of their business models have achieved higher financial returns than many of the largest banks in the world. These banks focus on meeting client needs and serving their communities. This makes SFRE a win-win from both financial and impact performance perspectives.”

On the milestone of SFRE’s initial fund close, Jim Prouty, CEO, SFRE commented, “Investors have already committed over USD 40 million to SFRE, which is an open-ended investment vehicle. Responding to a dynamic and growing demand for capital, our ambition is to mobilize up to USD 1 billion over the next 10 years.” Significantly:

  • SFRE is the first fund of its kind with a global focus established solely with private capital;
  • SFRE funds will be invested in banks and leveraged ten times by these banks to support the real economy; and
  • SFRE investors include GABV members, foundations, institutional investors, family offices, and private investors.

About the GABV: The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), founded in 2009, is a growing independent network of financial institutions with a shared mission to use finance to deliver sustainable economic, social and environmental development. Members include 25 financial institutions operating across 30 countries in Asia, Africa, Australia, Latin America, North America and Europe; serving 20 million customers with up to USD 100 billion of combined assets under management; and powered by a network of 30,000 co-workers. Access to decades of experience, combined with deep and diverse knowledge of the GABV members, is an important strategic asset for SFRE. Learn more at www.gabv.org.

About SFRE: SFRE, a Luxembourg based investment company, is a separate entity. CEO, Jim Prouty, joins SFRE from a distinguished international career in banking, including Bank of America, Heller Financial and elsewhere. MicroVest Capital Management, LLC (www.microvestfund.com) acts as portfolio manager for SFRE investments. Learn more www.sfrefund.com.

Key Partners: Enclude Capital Advisory UK Limited served as advisor to the GABV and acts as placement agent to SFRE (www.encludecapital.com); Crestbridge Management Company S.A. is the Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM); Clifford Chance serves as legal counsel to SFRE (www.cliffordchance.com).

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Linda Ryan, Global Alliance for Banking on Values

T +31 (0)65 201 2976 E: Linda.Ryan@gabv.org

1Real Economy – Real Returns: The Business Case for Sustainability Focused Banking 

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