Size matters! Taking impact investing to scale
USD 10 bn disbursed for the billions: Our team explains why responsAbility is delighted to celebrate this milestone in the company’s history.
“So much has been achieved, and yet so much remains to be done: To sustain financial inclusion, sustainable food and climate finance across Asia-Pacific, more regional investments are required. Our track record of USD 10 bn disbursed certainly helps to raise awareness for ESG and impact investment amongst investors in the region and to mobilize new capital for investments that benefit portfolios, people in developing economies and our planet!”
Maud Savary-Mornet is responsAbility’s Regional Director for Asia-Pacific looking after our offices in Mumbai, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Having developed the Asian inclusive finance portfolio for responsAbility for over 10 years, she has more recently spent quite some time making responsAbility’s offering known to investors across the Asia Pacific region.
“Part of the USD 10 bn of impact investments disbursed by responsAbility has served to finance and develop small-scale power plants in Sub-Saharan Africa where energy poverty remains one of the biggest hurdles to economic development. By supporting the generation of renewable power, responsAbility actively contributes to SDG 7 which aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.”
Joseph Nganga heads responsAbility’s Energy Equity Investment team and is Managing Director of responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding, a Nairobi-based company with USD 120 m of assets under management that fights energy poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa by financing, developing, owning and operating small-scale power plants. Next to operating six plants, Joseph’s 25-strong team of investment professionals, project developers, engineers and E&S specialists are working on additional projects representing 300 MW in various stages of development.
“Through a tailored investment approach to the food and agriculture value chain in emerging economies, responsAbility has directly contributed to improving farmers’ livelihoods, promoted sustainable agriculture in these geographies and strengthed agriculture value chains.”
Suhasini Singh, Head of Agriculture Debt for responsAbility’s Asia Pacific region, heads a team of three investment officers looking after a portfolio of 21 companies in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. Working out of our Mumbai office, she has been instrumental in developing the responsAbility portfolio of sustainable food companies which work with 550,000 smallholder farmers who sustainably cultivate 1.2 m hectares of agricultural area.
“Exceeding USD 10 bn in development investments disbursed is a huge accomplishment. responsAbility’s investments support 450 companies that drive inclusive growth, finance 31 million women entrepreneurs and supply 350 million people in over 90 countries with essential services. And we are not done yet. The financing gap to reach the SDGs is in the trillions – lots of room for growth!”
Reto Schnarwiler has been responsAbility's chairman since 2018 and has served on the responsAbility board since 2009. With years of experience in emerging economies, including functions with Swiss Re, APA Insurance Group, Kenya, and the African Leadership University, he has materially shaped the development of responsAbility into a multi-billion impact asset manager active across over 90 countries.
“To disburse USD 10 bn in impact investing is an enormous success that wouldn’t have been possible without all of our partners and investors – public and private – who are constantly pushing us to go the extra mile in measuring impact while delivering market-based returns. It wouldn’t have been possible if we hadn’t constantly asked ourselves which sectors to finance and which innovative financing structures to use. And it wouldn’t have been possible without the 250-strong responsAbility team who are making it all happen. USD 10 billion disbursed, and we’re right on track for the next USD 10 billion!”
Carolina de Azevedo, Senior Manager for Business Development, has been instrumental in mobilizing public and private investors to support responsAbility in launching innovative new financing structures designed to combat climate change and support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most recently, she was heavily involved in developing one of the market’s most successful blended finance vehicles, a USD 200 m climate debt fund targeting access to clean power.
“Completely new to the climate finance space only six years ago, responsAbility today is firmly established as a climate finance specialist for emerging economies with specialized staff, a significant climate portfolio and a clearly documented track record of creating impact for the benefit of the planet. Climate finance is one solution to stop carbon emissions in developing countries to increase even further and responsAbility wants to play an important role in this fight.”
Antoine Prédour heads responsAbility’s Climate Finance Initiatives and has been instrumental in taking assets under management in this sector from 0 in 2012 to USD 929 m at the end of 2019. With his team and a series of high-profile public and private investors he just launched the latest addition to the responsAbility fund portfolio, a USD 200 m climate debt fund targeting access to clean power.
“What’s so special about responsAbility’s investment approach is that we combine investments with advisory, particularly for nascent markets and untested business models. By helping high-impact companies and business models to grow, we actively increase the impact investment universe in emerging economies. I am particularly excited about the work we have been doing to mainstream best ESG practices across our entire portfolio.”
Eva Tschannen, Head of Technical Assistance, heads a team of experts that manage five independent Technical Assistance facilities designed to enable and enhance sustainable growth of high-impact companies.
“When it comes to impact investing, scale may not be everything, but it certainly matters. Our investments directly contribute to protect our climate, secure food and promote financial inclusion, in short: a better life for millions of people. When we started out, our ambition was to raise USD 1 bn for impact investing in emerging economies – a billion for the billions. 16 years down the line, we stand at USD 10 bn disbursed and the journey continues!”
Rochus Mommartz, CEO, has shaped responsAbility’s investment activities and strategy since the company’s inception in 2003 – as a consultant for microfinance investments, a member of the Executive Management and, since 2016, as CEO. He was instrumental in setting up responsAbility’s private equity business and in developing the company’s current focus on six business lines across three investment themes – FINANCIAL INCLUSION, CLIMATE FINANCE and SUSTAINABLE FOOD – and two asset classes – PRIVATE DEBT and PRIVATE EQUITY.