Catalyst launches new social investment fund
Catalyst Fund Management & Research, the social business investor, has launched a new £25m fund, with a £5m investment from Barclays.
Aimed at institutional investors, the fund will concentrate on the “burgeoning ethical consumerism” sector as well as education, health, alternative energy and the environment. Catalyst expects the fund to be fully raised this year. It will invest between £500k and £4.5m in targeted businesses, whilst also strengthening these companies with experienced non-executive board members from Catalyst’s own substantial network.
Big Issue Invest, the investment arm of The Big Issue, will be a partner in the fund and Clifford Chance, the law firm, is providing professional support.
John Varley, Barclays Chief Executive, commented: “We are excited by the potential of this innovative fund. Both the financial returns we anticipate and the opportunity to increase our presence in these rapidly growing sectors make this an attractive proposition for the bank. Our previous ventures in social investment funds have proved that it is possible to invest in socially viable projects and still make significant returns.”
Catalyst Founder Rodney Schwartz said: “By proving you can make great returns in these sectors, we will be attracting further investment from mainstream investors into an area where investor success and social returns go hand-in-hand.”
Based in London, Catalyst provides fund management, advisory services, and information and research to social businesses and investors. For more information, visit the Catalyst website.