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Schroders and Civitas close impact investing Fund

More international investors are being drawn to impact investing strategies. Schroders Capital and Civitas Investment Management have announced the third and final closing of their Social Supported Housing Fund, with total equity commitments of £192 million.

The closing of the fund will deliver £300 million of new supported-living properties in the UK. Investors in the UK, the US and Singapore, including pension funds, insurance companies, charitable foundations and family offices, have chosen to put money into the closed-end limited partnership, looking for steady returns.

Andrew Dawber, Director, Civitas

Schroders Capital, part of Schroders Plc, manages assets worth around £48.5 billion. Civitas Investment Management, which was founded five years ago, is a specialist impact investment manager with £2.5 billion of committed capital.

Its goal is “achieving long-term sustainable returns for our global investors by acquiring community-focused assets that deliver positive social outcomes”, the group said.

Civitas funds and oversees the provision of homes specifically designed for adults with learning difficulties or mental and physical disabilities, allowing them to live in their communities to improve their well-being.

It works with housing associations and local authorities, establishing public private partnerships and bringing together specialists in healthcare, real estate, investing and social housing finance. The rents are covered by housing benefit.

The investment manager plans to double its committed capital to £5 billion in the next three years, as investor interest in the UK in general and in the sector in particular is growing.

Investors pay attention “if you can show people that you’re investing into local assets that have a direct social benefit and that you can give them the empirical data to show what we’re doing”, said Andrew Dawber, director, Civitas.

“It is a stage further along than just investing in green buildings”, he said. “The key is making sure the opportunities that we’re investing in are what we say they are, and making sure that we can actually measure that social impact”.