Zurich, 21 November 2019 — Swiss impact asset manager responsAbility Investments is closing the responsAbility Fair Agriculture Fund, effective from 21 November 2019. The significantly reduced fund volume made it impossible to successfully pursue the fund’s investment strategy. The closure is taking place in order to protect the interests of the fund’s investors. responsAbility will continue to cover the investment theme of sustainable agriculture through a private debt fund for institutional investors and through a private equity fund.
responsAbility Investments AG is closing the retail fund for sustainable agriculture after the fund’s recent inadequate performance had led to outflows. Since 2016, the fund’s performance had been negatively affected by a combination of factors. On the one hand, there were rising hedging costs due to the large interest rate differential between the fund currency CHF and the investment currency USD. On the other hand, the difficult economic environment and declining commodity prices caused big challenges for longer-term investments in the agricultural sector.
“Due to the difficult market environment and steady decline in volumes, the responsAbility Fair Agriculture Fund cannot be sustained as an open-ended retail fund in the longer term,” says Rochus Mommartz, CEO of responsAbility. “We have therefore decided to liquidate the fund. By closing it now, we are ensuring that all investors are treated equally and thereby protecting the interests of the remaining fund investors in the best possible way. This decision doesn’t affect the rest of our product portfolio, which remains unchanged.”
Since its launch in 2011, the responsAbility Fair Agriculture Fund invested over USD 1 billion in sustainable agriculture and reached more than 200 small agricultural businesses in 52 countries, which cooperate with 2.3 million smallholder farmers. Through the fund, many investors undertook development investments for the first time, making a considerable contribution to the improvement of living conditions in rural areas of emerging economies. At the end of October 2019, the responsAbility Fair Agriculture Fund had a volume of USD 98 million and accounted for 3% of responsAbility’s assets under management.
responsAbility will continue to cover the investment theme of sustainable agriculture through institutional offerings in the private debt and private equity sectors. For retail clients, responsAbility offers the responsAbility Global Micro and SME Finance Fund, which generates a stable return from investments in a broadly diversified, currency-hedged portfolio of private debt financing with short- and medium-term maturities in the area of financial inclusion.
About responsAbility Investments AG (www.responsability.com)
A leading asset manager for impact investments in emerging economies with a 16-year track record, responsAbility manages USD 3 bn of assets invested in 450 companies with inclusive business models across 90 countries. Since the company's inception in 2003, responsAbility-managed funds have disbursed over USD 1 bn in financing to companies whose business models directly support the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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