Dutch pension hands Tikehau €100m impact mandate

Pensioenfonds Detailhandel, a pension fund for the retail sector in the Netherlands, has opted to back the French fund manager’s impact lending strategy.

Paris-based fund manager Tikehau Capital has been awarded a €100 million mandate by Pensioenfonds Detailhandel of the Netherlands for a private debt impact strategy.

The commitment follows the pension’s decision to allocate around 1 percent of its total assets to three managers active in the impact investing space. Tikehau says its pan-European capabilities were part of the reason for its selection.

Earlier this month, the Dutch pension – one of the largest in the country – backed a debt fund managed by Netherlands-based impact manager Polestar Capital. It will award a third mandate to a manager focused on emerging markets.

Launched in December 2020, Tikehau’s impact lending strategy seeks to contribute to sustainability in European markets while making competitive returns. It mainly targets SMEs contributing to sustainability through their product offering, resource management or processes.

In February last year, the fund held a first close on around €100 million with the support of the EU’s European Fund for Strategic Investments. By the end of 2021, the fund was managing €273 million.

“The Netherlands is well known for being ahead of the curve when it comes to their ESG outlook and approach,” said Nathalie Bleunven, head of corporate lending at Tikehau Capital. “With €1.6 trillion of pension fund assets under management in the country, Pensioenfonds Detailhandel is leading the way when it comes to investing their capital responsibly.”

In a separate announcement today, Tikehau announced it was launching a new office in Tel Aviv headed by Asaf Gherman and Rudy Neuhof as co-heads of Israel. The office becomes Tikehau’s 13th globally.

Gherman was previously head of syndications, debt management and products at Bank Leumi, while Neuhof was head of private and structured debt at Migdal Insurance. They will be responsible for Tikehau’s growth efforts in the country and for strengthening relationships with Israeli institutional investors.