HESTA puts another $200 million toward private sustainable investments

HESTA, the A$68 billion ($46.4 billion) Sydney-based superannuation fund, announced it has allocated another $200 million to Stafford Capital Partners for investment in lower-to-middle-market private equity businesses working toward key United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The latest allocation brings HESTA’s total commitment to the HESTA Sustainable Capital Investment Trust it launched in partnership with Stafford Capital to $450 million.

A HESTA news release Monday said the trust targets “direct co-investments alongside leading sustainable private equity managers” to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns on investments working toward good health and well-being, gender equality, affordable and clean energy, climate action, clean water and sanitation, and decent work and economic growth.

HESTA made the $200 million allocation from its sustainable growth investment option. A spokesman declined to disclose the total amount of retirement assets in that option but he said its allocation target for private equity stands at around 5%.

Sonya Sawtell-Rickson, HESTA’s chief investment officer, said in the news release the kind of private equity investments the fund’s latest allocation backs is helping “provide strong, long-term returns for HESTA members while also having a positive impact on progressing global sustainable development goals.”

The news release said Stafford Capital Partners looks after $7.5 billion in assets under management and advice on behalf of 170 institutional clients worldwide.

A spokesman for Stafford Capital Partners couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.