Josée Lynda Denis explains how a Luxembourg investment fund is helping to house humanity and why green finance is the future. She describes her involvement with NevHouse and the Nev EarthFund, which seeks to generate profit while doing good.
NevHouse is a project that turns recycled plastic into low-cost and rapidly deployable shelter. Thanks to extensive research it can recycle plastic of all grades to produce pre-fabricated shelters that can be shipped to and assembled quickly in areas of great need, such as after a natural disaster. It is part of the Nev EarthFund, a Luxembourg SICAV-RAIF that targets institutional and private clients that seek to, “dedicate assets to investments that impact humanity as well as their portfolio”.
Josée Lynda Denis has been a consultant for the NevHouse/Nev EarthFund project since its inception in 2015 and remains a board member today. She predicts that the business is heading for, “outstanding growth, both for capital markets and social impact investors.” In a comprehensive Q&A with Delano, she described her “Absolutely Fabulous” introduction to the Nev world and how important green finance is for the future of Luxembourg, and all.
Margaret Ferns: Please describe how you became involved NevHouse and the Nev EarthFund?
Josée Lynda Denis: I was the initiator consultant on the Luxembourg NevHouse/NevEarth Fund project. The project kicked off in 2015, following an introduction to Nev Hyman via a friend of his, Lynn Franks (the inspiration to the UK television series Absolutely Fabulous character Edina Monsoon), who I met in February 2015.
At this time, Nev was reaching out to various financial players and leading finance jurisdictions to seek support, with a view to creating an investment vehicle that would continue to attract philanthrocapitalist investors.
Nev chose Luxembourg as a domicile that provided an investment vehicle that would suit the needs of all the players involved in its objectives, from governmental entities to the investors themselves.
MF: Why was the NEV Earth fund set up?
JLD: The Nev EarthFund was set up to solve two chronic world problems: plastic waste pollution and affordable low-cost housing that can be rapidly deployed anywhere and fully off the grid, where necessary.
We launched the Nev EarthFund S.C.A. SICAV-RAIF in 2017 and are pre-qualified for two LuxFLAG labels, ESG and Environment.
MF: Why a Luxembourg RAIF (reserved alternative investment fund)?
JLD: The Luxembourg RAIF combines the characteristics and structuring flexibilities that Luxembourg is renowned for in regulated specialised investment funds (SIFs) and investment companies in risk capital (SICARs). The key difference being a significantly enhanced time-to-market for new fund launches.
Luxembourg, as a globally recognised and leading fund domicile, providing true global cross border fund administration, reassures investors that the necessary due diligence, compliance, risk and controls are carried out to the highest standard.
For NevEarth Fund, this is critical as it will be entering emerging markets to build waste-to-energy and plastic moulding plants to supply low cost housing to the domestic market from their own local waste. Hence, optimum governance is of the utmost importance for our image and integrity, as well as guaranteeing investors that their investments are being taken care of with the highest of quality assurance and sound and robust industry standards.
MF: Nev EarthFund’s motto is “Doing well by doing good”. Can you please describe how it does this?
JLD: To truly understand the business and financial model of Nev EarthFund, one must first understand the combined philanthropic and capitalist values held by the business. For Nev EarthFund, “Doing well by doing good” means making profits whilst helping to make the world a better place.
Another way to understand philanthrocapitalism is to look at the two root words: philanthropy means acts of humanity that help other people and/or the environment, while capitalism denotes adding value and turning a profit. Both of these goals are important to philanthrocapitalists, who deliver solutions that improve the world that we live in, whilst distributing a large portion of their profits to achieve the same end.
MF: In general, do you think Luxembourg has a positive future in green finance?
JLD: Luxembourg’s green finance sector has an important role to play as a global leader of the fund Industry. Adopting green finance, creating the first green exchange, developing labels that determine green finance standards, are all signs that show the ever-growing importance of Luxembourg in the green finance spectrum.
MF: NEV Earth has the LuxFLAG label in two categories. In your opinion, how important is labelling to green finance?
JLD: Labelling is a public statement and a commitment, which drives and upholds proper governance and business practice aiming at a greener planet. Assuming a label demands a mind-set beyond profit, it becomes a code of work ethic that all members of the team abide by.
Why? Creating a standard that is recognisable worldwide guarantees quality and transparency that is essential for investors and investment management as a whole.