Downing and its peers issues warning to the PM on net zero commitments

Commitments to net zero

Downing, as a member of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), alongside other investment managers, banks, asset owners and other financial institutions, has warned that the government’s recent rhetoric risks stopping the finance sector from making the transformative investments needed to reach net zero and grow the economy.

The industry has warned that without long-term clarity from government, the £50-60bn per year of investment needed to reach net zero won’t happen.

The warning comes in the form of a letter sent to the Prime Minister, signed by 36 financial institutions who are members of the UKSIF and represent £1.5 trillion in assets under management.

Downing’s Head of Responsible Investment, Roger Lewis, commented: “As the financial and geopolitical realities of decarbonisation start to hit, these ‘Dear World Leader…’ letters will become increasingly important. Holding governments accountable and policy advocacy for net zero commitments is vital for financial services given asset managers’ role as providers of equity and debt capital in actually achieving these commitments by mid-century.”

As a responsible investor, we invest for return while caring about the world we live in. Since we were established in 1986, we have invested in innovative companies and managed assets that positively impact society – whether that’s caring for the elderly, improving healthcare, building homes or producing clean energy.

Read more about this on the UKSIF website

Downing LLP expands funding partnership with bridging finance specialist SDKA

We are delighted to announce that we have expanded our funding partnership with bridging finance specialist SDKA which focuses on residential, commercial and semi-commercial properties.

The new agreement increases Downing’s facility with SDKA substantially. SDKA which is based in Cheshire and has been operating for eight years, has built a strong reputation in the bridging finance space with its fast funding.

The latest agreement continues the expansion of commitments for Downing’s Wholesale Finance team.

Parik Chandra, Partner and Head of Specialist Lending, Downing LLP, said: “We are delighted to have built on our partnership with SDKA in what remains a challenging market. The growth of the business is a testimony to its strong track record in supporting borrowers and brokers.”

Kunal Mehta, Managing Director, SDKA, said: ‘’SDKA is seeing significant growth this year, and in a difficult market I am delighted that we can announce this increased funding to support even more clients with our incredibly fast decision making and lending. It’s been a pleasure working with Parik and Nigel.’’

Downing LLP’s wholesale finance team provides structured wholesale finance solutions to other lenders focusing on block discounting facilities to SME lenders and structured facilities for bridging finance lenders.

It looks for established lenders with experienced management teams and can provide facilities between £3 million and £20 million with the ability to go higher.

Find out more about Downing’s wholesale finance team

Roger Lewis selected for ICGN Global Stewardship Committee

We are delighted to announce that Downing’s Head of Responsible Investment, Roger Lewis, has been appointed to the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) Global Stewardship Committee.

Roger was selected from ICGN’s wide range of investor members based on his and Downing’s expertise in active ownership.

The ICGN Stewardship Committee focuses on fiduciary duties, shareholder rights, shareholder meetings, company monitoring, voting engagement and investment mandates.

Roger Lewis, Head of Responsible Investment, commented: “Stewardship is absolutely core to our fiduciary duties in the 2020s and to achieving real ESG outcomes. And it’s a source of investment alpha. Therefore a great privilege to be appointed to ICGN’s stewardship committee, to define best practices here.”

View the full committee here and read more about Downing’s approach to responsible investment

Downing successfully exits six-year partnership with leading elderly care provider MACC Care

We are delighted to announce that we have successfully exited our six-year partnership with MACC Care, one of the UK’s leading elderly care providers.

The partnership with MACC Care, which operates a network of luxury care homes across the Midlands, saw Downing provide around £70 million in funding for acquisitions, refurbishment and development across six care homes that collectively provide 454 beds, including two with close care retirement living apartments, and two further development sites.

Overall, MACC Care – which was founded by two practicing doctors in 2004 – operates 13 care homes with more openings planned this year and employs 750 staff looking after 831 residents.

Downing first invested with Birmingham-based MACC Care in 2017 after identifying the company as a high-quality care home operator and developer. The management team is focused on strong growth, along with the objective of addressing the undersupply of high-quality care home beds.

The investment, structured across numerous transactions, has helped MACC Care to scale up and create an enviable estate of modern purpose-built care homes and has delivered attractive risk-adjusted returns for Downing’s investors during a low-interest rate environment.

Mark Gross, Partner and Head of Development Capital, Downing LLP, said: “Our six-year partnership with MACC Care marks a successful period for both of us. Throughout the partnership, we have been impressed by the quality and specification of the sites being developed as well as the level of care provided.”

“As a certified B Corporation, we are delighted to have helped develop a market-leading provider of elderly care, delivering much-needed fit-for-purpose care beds into the West Midlands market and created new local employment opportunities.”

“We wish the management and employees of MACC Care all the very best for the future as they embark on their next stage of growth”.

Find out more about the Development Capital team

Downing LLP increases Whitehall Capital's funding line by 50% to fuel growth

Downing LLP is pleased to have increased its funding line to Whitehall Capital, a leading provider of bridge and development finance.

Downing has upsized the funding line by 50%. This development will result in a more streamlined borrowing experience, empowering the broker community and real estate investors to seize opportunities swiftly and efficiently, with even greater certainty of funds.

This increased funding line marks a significant milestone in Whitehall Capital and Downing’s joint efforts to meet the evolving needs of businesses seeking financial support. Downing first entered into a funding agreement with Whitehall Capital in 2022 to support its origination activities.

Anthony Bodenstein, Managing Partner at Whitehall, said “This expansion of commitments for Downing’s Wholesale Finance team is a testament to their successful collaboration with key industry players. As traditional lenders continue to pull back from the mid-market space, we see a sizeable opportunity to fill that funding gap and capture additional market share. The fact that we have been able to add additional wholesale funding sources in a time of material market uncertainty speaks to the quality of our underwriting and the strength of our network with brokers and borrowers, whose business we rely on to deploy capital safely.”

Nigel Alexander, Investment Director, Downing commented: “We are delighted to announce the expansion of our funding line with Whitehall Capital. We believe that by strengthening our partnership with Whitehall Capital, we can continue to make a positive impact on the business community, supporting their growth and success.”

Find out more about Downing Wholesale Finance

Co-head of Healthcare Ventures John E. Milad comments on the Mansion House reforms

Downing’s Co-head of Healthcare Ventures, John E. Milad, recently spoke to Stephen Hansen, who is the Director of Biopharma Intelligence, about the recent Mansion House reforms.

Under the Mansion House Compact, the voluntary agreement unveiled last week between the government and nine of the largest U.K. defined contribution pension funds, the funds agreed to allocate at least 5% of investments specifically in unlisted equities by 2030.

John discusses the direction of pension fund capital against the backdrop of these crucial reforms.

Read the full article (please note the original article is behind a paywall)

28 solar projects across Yorkshire Water sites

Downing was selected by Yorkshire Water to develop, design, build and operate a portfolio of 28 solar sites across Yorkshire. The first phase of solar deployments represents an investment of approximately £25 million and will have a total capacity of around 21MW.

All the electricity generated by the solar panels will be consumed on-site by Yorkshire Water, directly contributing to its 2030 net zero pledge. Downing partnered with net zero consultancy, Ikigai, who acted as a strategic advisor and co-development partner throughout the tender process. This collaboration ensured a comprehensive approach to the project, utilising Ikigai’s expertise in achieving decarbonization objectives and Downing’s experience in responsible investment.

£3.7m investment for 5 ground-mounted solar generators with Northumbrian Water Limited

Downing partnered with Ennoviga Solar Limited to develop and construct a portfolio of five ground-mounted solar generators exclusively serving NWL.

Downing’s investment of £3.7 million represents its first investment into solar assets commissioned by a UK-regulated utility company. The solar generators, with a total capacity of 5.7 MWp, will directly deliver electricity to NWL’s operational assets. This significant renewable energy source will contribute significantly to NWL’s net-zero target for 2027, supporting its commitment to reducing emissions and advancing its renewable energy program.