Published in The Sunday Times

December 18, 2011

Green investment funds managed out of Ireland have more than doubled in the past two years to €2.3 billion, writes Tom Lyons.

New figures from Lipper, the Thomson Reuters company known as the funds bible, show environmental-related investments under management in Ireland were just over €1 billion in 2009.

The growth follows a push by a government-backed steering group called the Green IFSC (GIFSC), co-ordinated by Stephen Nolan. “These figures show Ireland is already at the forefront of offering financial solutions to the future green economy – and the impact is growing rapidly in terms of assets and in turn jobs,” Nolan said.

Among the biggest wins in this area, he said, was Kleinwort Benson, which manages four environmental strategy funds out of Dublin, worth a combined €700m.

Steve Falci, head of strategy in sustainable investments with Kleinwort Benson, believes the green asset management sector is Ireland is set for significant growth. “The key drivers of a rise in the amount of food, water and energy required, coupled with a population increase globally, means that there will an even greater need to find investment solutions to deal with these challenges,” he said. “We are incredibly optimistic about this sector.”

Financial Services Ireland, a lobby group for the financial services industry, and the GIFSC are carrying out a report on the labour market and skills needs associated with green finance.

The study estimates Ireland could create 1,400 over the next five years.

The GIFSC estimates total global investment in green funds and venture capital projects reached $214 billion (€164 billion) in 2010, and said this could rise to $500 billion by 2017. “We at the Green IFSC are examining a number of key areas to encourage greater activity in green finance and accelerate what is already significant growth,” said Ken Owens, the chairman of the Irish Funds Association and a member of the GIFSC Steering group.

Tom Lyons, The Sunday Times

You may also like