Infrastructure manager Whitehelm Capital has received €250m capital commitments from Dutch pension fund APG at the first close of a smart city infrastructure fund.
The €480bn pension fund is investing the capital into Smart City Infrastructure Fund on behalf of the Dutch civil service scheme ABP and other pension fund clients.
Smart city infrastructure fund has been set-up to pool pension fund investments in select smart city infrastructure across Europe, North America, Australia and other major urban areas in the world.
The companies said the fund was established to meet the growing demand for financing the scale-up of integrated Smart City solutions, which currently do not have access to long-term institutional financing and capability.
“This initiative will complement existing instruments from public institutions to enable a sustainable transition from small-scale pilot projects to mainstream applications,” the companies said.
Graham Matthews, the chief executive at Whitehelm Capital, said: “the Smart City Infrastructure Fund aims at transposing the benefits of long-term infrastructure investment to new business models and innovative use cases.
”The demand for better infrastructure and services is high and the Fund will act as a hub to share knowledge effectively across markets and to realise the much-needed physical infrastructure that underpins smart city developments.”
Ron Boots, the head of infrastructure Europe at APG, said: “As a long-term responsible investor, we are very pleased to support investments that promote the development of a sustainable society for future generations.”
Boots said the fund is the latest of the many exciting initiatives that APG is pursuing with the aim of incorporating the UN Sustainable Development Goals into a tangible investment product that can deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns.
“The ultimate objective of the fund is to improve quality of life and meet the needs of cities, allowing city officials to interact directly with the community, to improve physical infrastructure and how essential services are delivered, Boots said.
”The launch of the Smart City Infrastructure Fund – the first of its kind, globally – fits the long-term goals of ABP and our other pension fund clients that we work for.”