21 July 2020

Carey Olsen and Saffery Champness support True North on latest Guernsey Green Fund launch

Carey Olsen's investment funds team in Guernsey has acted as lead counsel to True North Real Estate Partners (True North) on the launch of its first fund, the Forestry Carbon Sequestration Fund. Saffery Champness, a leading international corporate service provider, has been appointed to provide administration and accounting services to the fund from its Guernsey office.

The fund, which has been successfully designated as a Guernsey Green Fund by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, has achieved its £30 million equity target at launch exclusively supported by leading global investment firm Willis Towers Watson. Designation as a Guernsey Green Fund through compliance with the Guernsey Green Fund rules means the Forestry Carbon Sequestration Fund has met strict eligibility criteria of green investing and has the objective of a net positive outcome on the planet's environment.

The Forestry Carbon Sequestration Fund will focus on woodland creation, acquiring agricultural land across the UK to develop as Forestry Stewardship Council compliant commercial forestry. This ecologically beneficial forestry planting is the central element to reaching the fund’s 1.65 million tonne carbon sequestration target.

The Carey Olsen team advising True North was led by partner Annette Alexander, with assistance from senior associate Gemma Campbell and associate Jamie Oldfield.

"The creation of the world's first regulated green investment fund product by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission has proved incredibly popular since its launch in 2018," said Annette.

"It provides investors with a trusted and transparent product in the investment space that they know is contributing to mitigating environmental damage and climate change. Carey Olsen was delighted to advise True North with not only the launch of Forestry Carbon Sequestration Fund but also its application towards gaining Guernsey Green Fund status. As a firm we have been extremely active in the environmental, social and governance (ESG) space and currently advise six of the funds to have gained Guernsey Green Fund status."

Ian Powell, managing director of fund services for Saffery Champness in Guernsey, commented: "Principally it is pleasing to be working with an innovative fund and manager with a distinct aim to mitigate environmental damage. Green investing is a growing and popular area of the market and one which is creating a lot of interest.

"With the Guernsey Green Fund, The Guernsey Financial Services Commission has created a platform which provides investors the comfort of knowing that the product conforms to the internationally agreed objective of mitigating environmental damage and climate change."

True North was set up in 2019 by real estate capital markets veteran Harry Humble to focus on ESG motivated real asset strategies and to meet the increasing institutional investor demand for opportunities leading on environmental and social impact rather than addressing these issues as a passive reporting function to legacy investment strategies.

The Forestry Carbon Sequestration Fund is structured with a co-investment 'side car' allowing it to scale up if larger investments are available.