Where are the super-rich investors focused on?



Creo Syndicate is a secret "club" of super-rich investors who are concerning about the climate issue.

A few years ago, hundreds of members of the M. family (from France) - The empire behind the worldwide retail group Auchan with a value of over $38 billion, has a landmark decision: the family thinks seriously and acts harder on the problem of climate change which will be reflected in the corporate portfolio.

Where are the super-rich investors focused on?

The super-rich investors are concerning about the climate issue./ ph: pexels

 But where should they start?  "The field is too large and complicated," said D. Descamps, chief executive of Creadev, the M. family wealth fund.

 She then met R. Clement, the head of a nonprofit called Creo Syndicate.  This is a secret "club" focused on investors interested in climate issues, Creo's mission is to accelerate the flow of capital into investments that can slow down global warming.  

 The special feature of this group is its focus on the richest in the super-rich.  Creo is currently working with about 200 families and investment funds with total assets under management of more than $800 billion.

 This include the most elite members such as investment legend J. Grantham and N. Simons, son of J. Simons - billionaire founder Renaissance Technologies.  In addition to the "very reasonable" fee (Clement says), members have to prove they are serious by planning their first climate investment within six months.  Members must also have a net worth of at least $100 million and be approved by Creo's executive board.

 When the M. family joined Creo, the staff met with experts, experienced investors in the climate change sector and other property management offices.  At webinars and small group meetings (typically under 20 people), they discuss new agricultural innovations as well as many other fields - which both help reduce waste while ensuring it can feed a growing world population.

 Although Creo is nonprofit and doesn't have its own money to deploy programs, the institution acts like an investment bank that makes an average of about 300 transactions per year, connecting investors with partners and conduct a lot of research on technology.  The members have invested in a variety of things, from batteries and hydrogen fuels to renewable agricultural land and more environmentally friendly packaging technology.

 "It's not about charity, it's investment," Clement said. According to her, the super-rich have an advantage over ordinary people in that because they aim to the purpose of wealth management for the next generations, they may wait a decade or more to see investments pay off. 

Some members from Europe are rich for hundreds of years and their thinking is long-term.  These are entirely new areas but that's okay because these families are completely comfortable as pioneers.

 The M. family owns a giant supermarket chain Auchan.  Conversations with the other members of Creo led to the decision that Auchan would focus on food.  Agriculture accounts for about 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and better farming practices can help combat climate change.  The family has invested in Gotham Greens (a company that provides technology and products related to urban indoor farming) and two other seafood companies are Kingfish Zeeland (which specializes in operating high-tech fish ponds) and InnovaFeed (raising insects as food for aquaculture farms).

 The clan members want to "be the ones leading the parade" said Creo's co-chairman Jason Scott.  It is frustrating for him to have people say that investments focused on climate change are becoming bubbles.  "You're talking about changing the way you grow and then transporting food, changing the way people eat, how people transmit energy to individual homes, even how people build cities.  We're talking about reshaping the entire world economy. "

 When Creo was founded five years ago, it was just an informal gathering of families who shared the same ideas about environment and climate change.  After 4 years, the number of members has quadrupled and the value of assets under management has increased 8 times.  Creo's number of employees doubled.  According to some members, the key to Creo's success is the way the organization connects super-rich investors, even though they are so different.

 Creo members are also happy to see their investments pay off.  QuantumScape, a battery company recently valued at $3.3 billion, has received an early investment from Prelude Ventures (venture capital firm founded by the Simons) and Capricorn Investment Group (both are members of Creo).  Or Tesla and Beyond Meat, two stocks in the best growth group of 2020, also received investment money from Creo members.

 "Opportunities are numerous, but for anyone who is just starting out will feel overwhelmed. That problem will be solved by investing in experienced partners" Zabbal said.

Where are the super-rich investors focused on?

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