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ImpactAssets 50: A Global Landscape of Impact Investment Fund Managers
The ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50) is the first open-source, publicly published database of experienced private debt and equity impact investment fund managers.

ImpactAssets 50

An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

Mirova Natural Capital Ltd

Total Assets Under Management: $100 – 499M
Asset Class: Private Debt - Absolute Return / Notes, Commodities
Primary UN Sustainable Development Goal: 13 – Climate Action
Natural Resources and Conservation
Sustainable Agriculture

Firm Overview

Category: Private Debt - Other

Mirova Natural Capital (Althelia Funds) is an impact investment manager that delivers financial returns that are fully aligned with the conservation of nature and sustainable social development. We leverage expertise and capital to define pathways for innovative solutions to the climate and environmental challenges facing society today.

Mirova Natural Capital Ltd is the natural capital investment arm of Natixis Global Asset Management's affiliate Mirova, and will allocate more than €1 billion in assets under management to natural capital investing over the next 5 years through our platform of Althelia Funds. The merge of Mirova and Althelia brings together the required strategic vision and expertise to scale up this nascent but promising natural capital market, and serve institutional clients seeking market-level returns through high-impact investment solutions addressing major global environmental challenges such as climate change, protection of landscapes, biodiversity, soil and marine resources.

Firm Headquarters: Western Europe
Years of Operation: 5 – 9 years
Total Assets Under Management:
$100 – 499M
Total Number of Investors: More than 25
% of Capital from Top 3 Investors: 25% – 49%
Investment Thesis:

Althelia Funds investments aim to align our economy with our ecology, linking sustainable production with protection.

Investment Overview:

Althelia Climate Fund 1 is focusing on opportunities that combine rigorous environmental stewardship and governance, provide a fair and sustainable living to rural communities and producing new assets like certified deforestation-free agroforestry produce and verified emission reduction units. This integrated land use model with diversified revenue sources allows us to de-risk investments and concentrate on delivering superior returns and impact results to investors. 

In 2019 Mirova Natural Capital launched the Amazon Biodiversity Fund in Brazil targeting R$400m (US$100m) of blended finance into sustainable activities that protect, restore or otherwise improve biodiversity and community livelihoods in the Legal Amazon of Brazil.

By the end of 2019 the Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund is expecting its final close targeting close to USD100m, investing in sustainable fisheries and aquaculture projects alongside marine conservation and plastics waste. 

Company Differentiator:

Althelia Funds is an impact investment, multi-fund platform, with funds aimed across the sustainable landscapes impact investment sector, from ACF1 & 2 which target a small number of exceptional conservation and natural resource management projects in the nascent stages, to Land Degradation Neutrality Fund Project which aims to take these businesses to scale and Rabobank's Agri3 Fund (to which we serve as advisor) targeting a large number of farmers to improve their environmental and social stewardship. We benefit from the experience of Mirova and Natixis in the wider asset management space, whilst implementing our strong ESG and best-in-class impact delivery, measurement and reporting across all our Funds. Across the team we have decades of experience in assessing sustainable land use projects on the ground, and we aim to partner with all our investments, providing them with support and guidance alongside finance.

Investment Example

SafetyNet Technologies is investment finalised by the Sustainable Ocean Fund (SOF) at the end of 2019. It is a tech company producing programmable LED lights to be installed on fishing gears in order to reduce the capture of non-target species or juveniles (bycatch) in a range of fisheries, from small-scale to industrial. By-catch represents over 40% of the fish caught globally, increasing the negative impact of fisheries and contributing to tremendous waste of marine resources. By supporting SafetyNet Technologies development, SOF will contribute to the effort towards reducing fisheries by-catch and discards, improving fisheries efficiency and reducing their negative impact, in a context of tighter regulations on by-catch regulations globally. SafetyNet Technologies is today piloting deployment of their devices in Europe (France, Scotland), but also in Latin America (Peru) and Indonesia.

Leadership and Team

Cumulative Leadership Experience in Investing:
30 years or more
Cumulative Impact Experience of Top Three Firm Leaders:
20 – 29 years
Christian del Valle – Managing Director More Info

Christian is a founder and Managing Director of Mirova Natural Capital and Althelia Funds. Previously, Christian’s professional background was in commodity structured finance and trading, serving as Director of Environmental Markets & Forestry within the corporate and investment banking division of BNP Paribas. The vision brought by Christian to Althelia had roots stretching back to 2002, when he stepped away from energy finance and trading career to pursue his long-standing interests in the environment and conservation field, working for a year in sub-Saharan Africa before pursuing an MSc in Conservation Biology from the Durrell Institute of Conservation & Ecology at the University of Kent (Canterbury). During his time there, he focussed extensively on the nexus between social, economic and environmental challenges. Post-graduate field work was conducted in Botswana on human-wildlife conflict and perceived trade-offs between land use decisions such as small and large scale livestock husbandry and wildlife conservation in a water-challenged Okavango landscape.

Sylvain Goupille – Managing Director More Info

Sylvain is a founder and Managing Director of Mirova Natural Capital and the Althelia Funds. Sylvain has been involved in carbon finance as early as 1997 when he started the Climate Change advisory practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers. He advised there numerous corporates and public organisations on their carbon strategies and carried out milestone assignments such as structuring the European Carbon Fund, designing the European carbon registry Seringas, organising one of the first emission trading simulations (GETS2) and developing several CDM projects. In 2005, Sylvain joined the BNP Paribas Corporate & Investment Banking as Head of Carbon Finance, where he successfully developed the carbon business of the bank, building a well diversified and highly profitable portfolio of carbon projects.

Edit Kiss – Director of Business Development and Portfolio More Info

Edit Kiss is the Director of Business Development and Operations at Althelia Ecosphere managing Althelia’s investor relations and project portfolio as well responsible for developing long-term partnerships with various supply chain actors. Additionally, Edit is representing Althelia within various industry associations such as CodeREDD, IETA and CMIA. Edit has previously been an advisor to IUCN Netherlands and worked on the linkage of REDD+ with biodiversity compensation and green agricultural commodities with special focus on cocoa supply chains. She is co-author of the paper entitled ‘Aligning Biodiversity Compensation and REDD+’ published in November 2013 during COP19 and has also been an ad-hoc advisor to the Ghana Forest REDD+ Cocoa Programme.

Percentage of Investment Professionals who are Women and/or Under-Represented Groups in Firm's Geographic Focus:
Less than 25%
Percentage of Management Team who are Women and/or Under-Represented Groups in Firm's Geographic Focus:
Less than 25%

Financial Performance

Target Financial Returns Relative to Benchmark:
Near-market Rates
Actual Performance Relative to Target Financial Returns in the Past Three Years:
Below initial target returns
Financial Reporting Frequency to Investors or Donors

Impact Performance

Percentage of Total Assets Under
Management that are Impact Investments:
Primary Impact Outcomes:
Addressing climate change and environmental issues
Alleviating poverty
Conserving land, ecosystems and natural resources
Creating jobs
Increasing access to financial services
Secondary Impact Outcomes:
Increasing access to education and improving educational outcomes
Increasing access to healthcare services and improving health
Increasing access to water and sanitation
Value-added Services Offered:
Access to markets
Business and legal training
Health services
Other: Technical assistance; Impact measurement

Investments systematically target companies where social and/or environmental impact is integral to the product/service being created:

Althelia Funds is an impact investment platform and only companies that demonstrate positive social and environmental impacts are considered for investment by any of our funds. Our screening process identifies all positive impacts in ACF's 7 key impact areas - climate, species, ecosystems, livelihoods, inclusivity, sustainable enterprise and fair economic return. Through the due diligence process Althelia works closely with projects to maximise their potential positive environmental and social impact performance. We focus on financing activities that address major global environmental challenges, such as climate change, protection of landscapes, soil and marine resources.

Investments systematically include social and environmental sustainability practices in the due diligence process:

Althelia's ESG Standard requires projects to comply with the IFC Performance Standards and the IFC Environmental Health & Safety Guidelines. This means all companies into which we invest must assess and develop a system to manage all environmental and social risks. Our due diligence process involves a gap analysis between companies' current standards and our ESG Standard. All gaps identified are written into an environmental and social action plan, and compliance with the plan forms part of our investment contract. Rather than simply screening out projects with sub-optimal performance, the Fund can add value by enabling better performance in those projects that have the potential to improve. Companies that do not have the willingness or ability to reach Althelia's ESG Standard will not receive investment.

Impact Tracking and Monitoring

Impact is Tracked:
Social and/or Environmental Impact is Reported to Investors and Donors:
Yes – to the public
Third Party Validations:
Participant on steering committees or leadership roles within impact industry associations
Publisher or contributor to industry white paper or other research in impact investing

Learn More

Key Contact Name: Edit Kiss
Phone: +44 07 487 887 629
Mailing Address:

15-19 Bloomsbury Way, Holborn London WC1A 2TH

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