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Economically Targeted

Economically Targeted

The Church Pension Fund's (CPF) economically targeted investments have traditionally focused on microfinance-related initiatives, affordable housing, sustainable farming, and urban redevelopment.

Microfinance

We served as an anchor investor through our investment in the Essential Capital Consortium, a social enterprise fund managed by Deutsche Bank’s Global Social Finance Group. This investment will finance approximately 20 enterprises that are focused on providing debt financing to companies in the energy, health, and microfinance sectors in developing countries.

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Gary Hattem, head of the Global Social Finance Group at Deutsche Bank, described this investment as “a pioneering fund that aims to finance the growth of social enterprises as vehicles to achieve measurable benefits in improving the lives of the poor, bringing together well-respected and similarly motivated investors to fill an existing capital gap.” The ECC provides responsive debt capital to support the next generation of social entrepreneurs globally who are redefining a market approach to addressing fundamental humanitarian challenges.” In 2015, the ECC had 317,746 borrowers, of whom 213,526 were female. We were proud to be an anchor investor in the ECC, which helped encourage other investors to commit.

Affordable Housing

Our investments have enabled the construction or preservation of nearly 54,000 affordable housing units throughout the United States. The demand for affordable housing units is only expected to increase in the coming years as the Urban Institute has reported that for every 100 extremely low-income renter households in the United States, only 29 affordable rental units are available.

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Our investments have enabled the construction or preservation of nearly 54,000 affordable housing units throughout the United States. One investment we made was with Avanath Capital Management, a minority-owned real estate company that maintains nearly 5,000 low-income apartment units. The demand for affordable housing units is only expected to increase in the coming years as the Urban Institute has reported that for every 100 extremely low-income renter households in the United States, there are only 29 affordable and available rental units.

View a video case study related to one of our Avanath Capital Management investments here.

Sustainable Farming

Our investment in Silverlands, a private equity fund managed by SilverStreet Capital, supports indigenous farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Its efforts have been instrumental to improving the lives of thousands of people in the region.

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Its initiative to develop surplus silo storage space has added safe and dry storage options that can enable local farmers to sell their remaining crops during the off season, rather than having them go to waste. In addition, Silverlands has established a livestock improvement program that has greatly reduced the incidence of disease in small-scale herds of cattle, which has reduced cattle mortality rates to less than 1% and increased local ranchers’ incomes. Silverlands also supports local training centers to improve the economic health of farmers through training in better practices, such as the use of conservation farming techniques, which have revitalized communities throughout the region. 

View video case studies related to our Silverlands investments here.

Microfinance

CPF served as an anchor investor and invested $30 million in the Developing World Market’s $62 million Off-Grid, Renewable and Climate Action Impact Note (ORCA Note). The ORCA Note will provide renewable energy finance loans to socially responsible businesses in the developing world and is composed of 11 underlying loans made to inclusive financial institutions and operating companies.

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These organizations support renewable energy creation and services in nine countries across three continents, including Ecuador, Guatemala, India, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Rwanda, and Tanzania. Peter Johnson, Managing Partner of Developing World Markets, said, “The companies financed by the Note are employing innovative, market-based mechanisms to solve critical development needs. For the equivalent price of what was previously spent on outdated energy sources such as kerosene, low-income individuals in developing countries can access clean, modern, renewable energy technology for their homes and families; addressing not only energy, but health issues as well.” 

Read the press release on this investment here.

Urban Redevelopment

We have funded more than 320 urban redevelopment projects in cities around the world. These projects, which have had a positive impact on local communities in reducing crime, improving housing stock, and increasing economic vibrancy, have included retrofitting buildings and constructing new housing.