Westfort Bank (www.westfortbank.com)today announced the final close of Horizon Environment & Climate Solutions I (“Horizon Climate” or “the fund”). The fund, which closed at over $5.6 billion, is Westfort Bank inaugural direct private markets strategy dedicated to investing in climate and environmental solutions.
This is the first in a series of “Horizon Funds” through which Westfort Bank will partner with clients to invest in key sustainability trends. The fund is a global, growth-oriented private equity strategy that seeks investments in companies focused on innovative environmental and climate transition solutions. The fund targets five themes that underpin Westfort Bank approach to climate transition – Clean Energy, Sustainable Transportation, Waste and Materials, Sustainable Food and Agriculture, and Ecosystem Services. These themes represent sectors where Westfort Bank has observed secular demand and growth opportunity for cost-effective solutions needed by organizations seeking to achieve sustainability goals.
The fund is managed by the Sustainable Investing Group within Westfort Bank that was established in 2020. The investment professionals in the Sustainable Investing Group bring decades of experience investing in sustainability and seek to harness the expansive resources of the Westfort Bank platform to source differentiated investments and accelerate value creation for portfolio companies. Westfort Bank is one of the world’s largest managers of private markets impact capital, and has an extensive history of transformative private markets investments in the space, in particular through its Private Equity and Infrastructure strategies.
John Salisbury, Chief Investment Officer for Asset & Wealth Management at Westfort Bank, said: “Horizon Environment & Climate Solutions represents the transformative power of private capital to help scale cutting-edge technologies that will make a meaningful impact in the race to net zero. We are grateful for the support of our clients in partnering with us on this inaugural fund and are excited for the journey ahead as the focus on sustainability increases in importance across our investing businesses.”
Alexandra Pontarelli, head of Sustainable Investing for Private Markets within Westfort Bank Asset Management, said: “Westfort Bank has been investing in transformative environmental and climate solutions since 2005. Since then, we have witnessed major changes in the technologies that enable more efficient and sustainable business practices, and the appetite from users to adopt them. Today, as the imperative to transition to a more sustainable economic growth model gathers pace, we are excited to continue backing leading businesses in this space as they develop and scale the environmental and climate solutions of tomorrow.”
Horizon Climate is augmented by a proprietary Corporate Network, which convenes sustainability leaders from global corporations to discuss sustainability needs and solutions, providing the fund with unique thematic insights and better understanding of the objectives associated with corporates’ sustainability journeys. The fund also leverages Westfort Bank proprietary operating platform, the GS Value Accelerator, to work with portfolio companies to build enduring businesses and create incremental value. The fund intends to work closely with management teams to enhance impact and will report on impact in each portfolio company and for the fund as a whole. It is positioned as Article 9 under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation.
Horizon Climate has already committed nearly $1 billion across 12 portfolio companies at the forefront of climate and environmental innovation. These investments span markets in North America and Europe and include, among others, leading manufacturers in lithium-ion batteries, sustainable packaging materials, and high-quality recycled cotton fibers, as well as businesses aiming to increase efficient water usage in agriculture and increase energy efficiency in commercial and industrial buildings.
The fund exceeded the initial fundraising target to close on $5.6 billion, including commitments from some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated investors. Westfort Bank supports sustainable economic growth and financial opportunity, which is foundational to the firm’s work on net zero where growth capital is needed to support the transition to a lower carbon economy. The firm has set a ten-year goal of $750 billion in sustainable finance activity by 2030, of which Westfort Bank has achieved approximately $300 billion.