CDPQ and Al Gore Firm Unite for ESG Investments

Partnership acquires majority stake in fintech firm FNZ in first investment deal. 

Canada’s $238.1 billion La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and former Vice President Al Gore’s firm, Generation Investment Management ($18.5 billion), will team up for a long-term investment strategy in sustainable equities.

The partnership will start with a $3 billion stake in environmentally friendly businesses, which they deem to have solid management teams and long-term growth prospects. Fintech firm FNZ, which provides technology assistance to banks, insurers, and asset managers, is their first stake in a deal that values the company at £1.65 billion ($2.168 billion).

These investments, in both public and private equities, will last from eight to 15 years. While that’s longer than most such investments, CDPQ said the decision “better suits the objectives of sustainable value creation” for the success of the companies. The organization also said many of these ventures will be tech-heavy with their innovations.

David Blood, a senior partner at Generation, said he hoped the investment would inspire others.  “We hope it will catalyze a more sustainable form of investing in the capital markets,” he said.

Michael Sabia, chief executive officer at CDPQ, Canada’s second-largest pension plan, called the partnership “a natural match between two like-minded organizations,” adding that both firms integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles “at the core of our investment strategies and believe they go hand-in-hand with attractive returns.”

Stéphane Etroy, CDPQ’s executive vice president and head of private equity, said FNZ has “significantly improved access, choice, and transparency of long-term savings for all consumers.” The firm will help consumers incorporate more sustainability factors into their investment decisions, he added.

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