International savings and investments business M&G plc announced today the acquisition of Zurich-based, emerging markets-focused impact investor responsAbility Investments AG. Subject to regulatory approval, M&G has agreed to acquire approximately 90% of the issued share capital of responsAbility, with plans to acquire the remaining 10% over time.

Founded in 2003, responsAbility invests in private debt and private equity across emerging markets, focusing on companies in the financial inclusion, sustainable food and climate finance sectors whose business models directly support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). responsAbility currently has approximately $3.7 billion of assets under management, and has disbursed over $11 billion in investments since inception.

John Foley, Chief Executive of M&G, said:

“This acquisition strengthens M&G’s position in the rapidly growing market for sustainable investments, especially in the exciting area of emerging markets. It also accelerates the growth of our private assets franchise and augments our European institutional distribution.”

According to M&G, the acquisition aligns with the company’s strategy to grow its sustainable investment capabilities and become a leader in impact investing, while expanding M&G’s international presence and private asset origination capabilities. The transaction follows the creation last year by M&G of Catalyst, an impact-focused investment team within its Private & Alternative Assets business, established with a £5 billion allocation targeting investments in sustainability-focused privately owned enterprises.

Jack Daniels, Chief Investment Officer of M&G, said:

“responsAbility brings leading capabilities in impact investment to M&G, which will help us accelerate our ambition to place sustainability at the heart of our investment process, and further expands M&G’s international operations, particularly with respect to asset sourcing and origination. There is strong and growing demand for impact and sustainable investment products from our clients. The combination of responsAbility’s specialist capabilities in this area and our scale, investment breadth and global distribution reach represents a very powerful proposition.”

M&G said that responsAbility will retain its brand identity, and will continue to be led by Chief Executive Officer Rochus Mommartz, and remain headquartered in Zurich. The firm’s 200 employees will join M&G on completion of the deal.

Mommartz said:

“We are excited to join forces with M&G, as this will bring our vision for impact investing to the next level. M&G’s financial strength, distribution network and its strong commitment to sustainability will accelerate our endeavours to meet the massive unmet demand in developing countries and the needs for climate finance. Together we can achieve an even more meaningful contribution to a sustainable world.”

Reto Schnarwiler, Chairman of responsAbility, added:

“By joining forces with M&G, responsAbility is even better equipped to make a meaningful contribution to sustainable development, the main reason why responsAbility was established in 2003.”