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Credit Suisse Teams Up With JPMorgan for Sustainable Food Fund

Wheat grows in a field at a farm near Gunnedah, New South Wales, Australia, on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. While Australia's winter crops are seen having bumper harvests after years of drought-affected supply, the farm labor shortage is spurring concerns.

(Bloomberg) —

Credit Suisse Group AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s asset and wealth management business are working together to develop a new investment strategy focused on sustainable nutrition.

The fund will invest in public companies that “address the ties between nutrition, health, biodiversity and climate, with a particular focus on nutrition’s societal and environmental aspects,” Credit Suisse said in a statement on Tuesday. The banks plan to launch the fund by the end of the year, according to a Credit Suisse spokesman who said financial details for the joint venture were not currently available.

With growing investor demand for products that address environmental and societal issues, from climate change to racial equality, banks and fund managers are churning out an ever greater number of ESG funds and investments. Still, investors in the new vehicles have no intention of sacrificing returns. That’s why Credit Suisse and JPMorgan intend to deliver “both financial and purpose-driven outcomes, while building lasting portfolio value,” said Lydie Hudson, head of sustainability research and investment products at Credit Suisse.

The banks are “committed to developing sustainable solutions for clients that provide strong financial outcomes, while also addressing the most important challenges facing our planet and society,” said Mary Callahan Erdoes, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Asset & Wealth Management.

The new fund will address a topic that is crucial for humankind: almost 700 million people around the world are undernourished while 1.8 billion people are overweight or obese, and food systems are already responsible for 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions and account for more than 90% of the world’s freshwater consumption. The new strategy is intended to “make a positive contribution to addressing the double burden of malnutrition – feeding people and protecting the planet,” said Michael Strobaek, global chief investment officer at Credit Suisse.

This isn’t the first time Credit Suisse has partnered with a giant of finance on sustainability. Earlier this year the bank teamed up with BlackRock Inc. to work on similar investment products.

To contact the author of this story:
Alastair Marsh in London at amarsh25@bloomberg.net

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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