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Superfund partners with regional bodies for sustainable investment

Tuesday 11 October 2022 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in National

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Superfund partners with regional bodies for sustainable investment
Superfund chief executive officer Damien Beddoes.

The sovereign wealth, trust, provident, and superannuation funds of the Pacific Islands Investment Forum (PIIF), including the Cook Islands National Superannuation Fund, met in Auckland last week, where they accepted the research and recommendations to develop a co-investment platform.

They also approved an MOU (memorandum of understanding) committing to work together to assess and ultimately invest in projects that will deliver economic, environmental and social impact to members across the region.

In a statement, Cook Islands National Superannuation Fund chief executive Damian Beddoes, who is also the Secretariat of PIFF, sad this joint initiative from within the local Pacific investment industry demonstrates their joint national capability, as well as the pooled capital, poised for investing.

“As many of our funds reach a size relative to our domestic GDP that will increasingly mean we need to be net exporters of capital in search for sustainable returns, our joint effort towards skills enhancement, commitment to global best-practice in governance, and the highest professional standards is the best way to ensure sustainable long-term financial security for our members within a changing world.”

In search for commercial returns that provide social impact for members and sustainable finance for the environment, this announcement comes at a time when global partners are vying separately to secure influence in the region, the statement said.

“We believe there is a strong alignment between our local capital and governance alongside suitable foreign partners who wish to work with us.”

Prince Suhren, chairman of the PIIF and chief executive of the Samoa National Provident Fund, said: “Pacific nations face many challenges in the development of infrastructure and businesses that enhance the lives of our citizens, particularly in sectors that deliver essential services such as food security, sustainable energy, health, transport, logistics and telecommunications.”

“The signing of this MOU comes amid a growing recognition internationally of the need to avert a climate disaster. Pacific nations are among those most at threat from harmful climate change. Our co-investment model offers a conduit for sustainable investment with credible local partners who exhibit the best of global standards.

“Millions of people across the Pacific stand to benefit from our co-investment approach to overcome a massive infrastructure gap that could also yield significant capital inflows, jobs and more sustainable economic growth.”

The Pacific Islands Investment Forum (PIIF) is an industry group of 20 superannuation, provident, trust, and sovereign funds in 12 countries across the Pacific region, representing approximately 1 million members and NZD$15 billion in assets under management (excluding the NZSF).

Its aim is to mutually support professional practice and development across the Pacific through sharing of ideas, training, and benchmarking themselves against global best-practice “because we believe that this will result in improved outcomes for our members”.

Fiji National Provident Fund, Itaukei Trust Fund, Kiribati Provident Fund, Nauru Sovereign Wealth Fund, New Zealand SuperFund, Ngāi Tai Ki Tāmaki, Ngāti Awa Group Holdings, Nambawan Super - Papua New Guinea, NASFUND – Papua New Guinea, Samoa National Provident Fund, Solomon Islands National Provident Fund, Tokelau Superannuation Fund, Tokelau Trust Fund, Tonga National Retirement Benefits Fund, Tonga Retirement Fund Board, Tuvalu National Provident Fund, Unit Trust of Fiji, Unit Trust of Samoa and Vanuatu National Provident Fund are the other members of the Forum.