ANNOUNCEMENT: Expert Investor is now PA Europe. Read more.

ABN Amro and Symbiotics unveil EM impact private debt fund

Master-feeder fund is first in a planned series


Elena Johansson

ABN Amro Investment Solutions has collaborated with impact investment platform Symbiotics to build a ‘feeder’ fund that invests in emerging and frontier microfinance credits, while also expanding the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) impact themes.

The ABN Amro Symbiotics Emerging Markets Impact Debt is a feeder fund, which invests in shares of the ‘master’ fund, the Symbiotics Sicav II – ABN Amro Impact Fund, which in turn invests mainly in debt instruments in emerging and frontier economies.

Asset managers use the ‘master-feeder’ structure to consolidate various portfolios into one entity and create benefits from economies of scale.

The fund invests according to the following criteria:

1. Financial inclusion, typically targeted at;
i) microfinance institutions;
ii) local commercial banks serving lower and middle income households and micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs); and
iii) fintechs, aimed at lower and middle income households and MSMEs.

2. Small business finance through;
i) financial institutions specialised in small businesses;
ii) securitisation vehicles; and
iii) other investment vehicles focusing on small business finance.

3. Project and enterprise development through, primarily, direct financing of company projects.

Investment process

The investment process is managed by Symbiotics’ team:

– About 50 research analysts identified 300 financial institutions to invest in;

– About 25 transaction experts are responsible for the origination & brokerage and structuring of more than $5bn (€4.61bn) in loans;

– There are circa 15 portfolio managers; and

– An independent risk management division monitors every step of the investment process.

Symbiotics is an impact investment platform for emerging and frontier markets and has an invested portfolio of $2.4bn, as of December 2019.

This fund is the first in a range of impact funds ABN Amro Investment Solutions aims to launch this and next year, the firm said.