News in brief - 25 June 2021

Franklin Templeton has launched two new alternative funds for European clients.

The launch of the Franklin K2 Cat Bond UCITS Fund and Franklin K2 Athena Risk Premia UCITS Fund brings the total number of liquid alternative strategies within the Franklin Templeton Alternative Funds range to eight. Both funds will be registered in 11 European countries, including the UK, Germany, France and Italy. The Franklin K2 Cat Bond fund will aim to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns and current income over time with limited correlation to other asset classes through investment in a portfolio of natural catastrophe bonds. Alongside this, the Franklin K2 Athena Risk Premia fund will aim to secure long-term capital appreciation with lower volatility relative to broader equity markets and substantially less correlation to traditional asset classes over a full market cycle by pursuing various risk premia strategies.

MetLife has announced plans to originate $500m in impact investments by 2030.

The group's sustainability report confirmed the plans to originate $500m in social and environmental impact investments by 2030, with 25 per cent of this to be allocated to efforts addressing climate change. In addition to this, MetLife will also take a focus on promoting the financial health of underserved people, including advancing racial and gender equity in low-income and ethnically diverse communities. The report also highlighted the progress made by the group, as 2020 also saw MetLife commit to reducing location-based GHG emissions by an additional 30 percent from 2019 to 2030, and originating $20bn of new green investments such as renewable energy, LEED-certified buildings, and green bonds by 2030.

Legal & General (L&G) has invested £350m into Bristol Temple Island’s regeneration plans.

The investment will fund the transformation of the disused site into a new urban quarter, with a focus on social inclusion through affordable housing, training and employment opportunities. The new development will also be heated by a district heating scheme provided by Bristol City Council, in line with L&G’s broader commitment to tackle the growing climate crisis. L&G has already committed £310m to the nearby Build to Rent and modular housing schemes, and is a “significant investor” in Bristol, also holding investments in commercial real estate, such as a Civil Service hub and the Quayside Bristol office development.

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