Sir Ronald Cohen’s Apax Partners closes $900 million global impact fund

ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, December 12 — Born in Egypt to a Jewish family that emigrated to the UK, Sir Ronald Cohen in 1972 launched Apax Partners and built it into one of the largest global private equity investors in Europe (see, “Nick O’Donohoe on Sir Ronald Cohen’s Impact”).

Apax has raised $900 million for a new global impact fund that will invest in companies with core products and services that are geared towards environmental and social impact. That includes health and wellness, digitalization, social and economic mobility, and environmental resources.

The fund has backed four companies, including Swing Education, which connects schools with qualified substitute teachers, and GAN Integrity, which has a platform for managing supply chain risk.

“The world has historically operated on two parameters: risk and return. We now find ourselves shifting to three dimensions: risk, return and measurable impact,” said Cohen, who chairs the Apax fund’s impact advisory board.

Impact management

Apax Global Impact received commitments from private and public pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, fund of funds, insurance companies, endowments and charitable foundations. The fund, which has a carry feature tied to its impact performance, is classified as an “Article 9” fund for its sustainability objectives under the European Commission’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, or SFDR.

European fundraising

Separately, Revaia, a French women-led venture firm, secured €150 million for its second fund from investors such as Bpifrance and European Investment Fund. The fund will invest between €10 and €30 million in a dozen growth-stage sustainability companies mainly in Europe.

Apollo Global Management got a greenlight from Luxembourg’s regulators to launch its Clean Transition Equity Fund to aggregate capital from wealthy investors in Europe for private investments in clean energy and sustainability. The fund will be available to investors in their local currency and “will be fully funded at launch,” said Apollo.