Impax focuses on larger companies

Impax, a specialist environmental fund manager group, is poised to launch an Oeic. It will be called the IFSL Impax Environmental Leaders Fund and will be managed by the Impax team, which includes Ian Simm, Bruce Jenkyn-Jones and Simon Gottelier.

The focus will be on three environmental sub-sectors: alternative energy and energy efficiency; water treatment and pollution control; and waste technologies and resource management.

The fund aims to utilise the specialist knowledge of the Impax team, which has focused solely on environmental solutions since Impax was founded.

Ian Simm, the chief executive of Impax, says the decision to launch the fund was taken because of the changing nature of the environmental sector.

“We’ve been investment managers in the sector for 10 years,” he says. “What we’ve realised in the last 18 months is that the sector has matured and is growing rapidly, in some cases up to 20% per annum.”

The sudden surge has created larger companies, which are better able to take advantage of favourable legislation being passed across Europe as environmental concern grows.

The fund will take advantage of this trend and invest globally in companies quoted on recognised stock exchanges, which have a market capitalisation of at least £254m.

The portfolio will include only companies that derive at least 20% of their revenue from or have at least 20% of their capital invested in the environmental sector.

Simm gives as examples Alfa Laval, a leading global supplier of engineering equipment, and Schneider Electric, which aims to improve efficiency in the way electricity is used. “You can get a better return for your capital in 2008 investing in energy efficiency than in new ways of producing energy,” says Simm.

The new fund will go live on March 3 and will be available through Cofunds, with a minimum investment of £1,000. It will have a 5% initial charge and 1.5% annual management charge.