Meridiam Named Fund Manager for International Municipal Investment Fund (IMIF)
Durban, South Africa - Meridiam, the infrastructure investment and global asset manager, with USD 7 billion in assets under management, was formally selected as the fund manager of the International Municipal Investment Fund (IMIF) – a unique, bespoke fund designed to focus exclusively on supporting cities and local governments; notably municipalities in developing countries, including the least-developed countries – launched by the coalition for a financial ecosystem that works for cities and local governments. The IMIF Technical Assistance Facility (IMIF TAF), managed by UNCDF, will be formally constituted on 2nd January 2020 to support the pipeline for the fund.
The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) together with their technical partner, the Global Fund for Cities Development (FMDV) created a coalition for 'a global financial ecosystem that works for cities and local governments' – the Malaga Coalition, because expanded sub national finance is crucial for sustainable development and our collective future. Cities and local governments are the key to accelerating implementation of Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement. From increased urbanization, to changing climate to plastic waste to peaceful streets, cities have the mandate, convening power, connection with the citizenry and comparative advantage to solve many global problems, and to advance national development agendas.
Yet the global financial ecosystem is not structured to adequately finance cities and local governments. Instead, it favours countries, which have access to capital markets with sovereign guarantees and a monopoly of taxation; and large businesses, which can move capital around the globe and limit their tax liabilities. The goal of the Malaga Coalition is to drive a global financial ecosystem that will enable municipalities to accelerate Agenda 2030.
In December 2018, UNCDF launched a request for Expressions of Interest from Asset Managers for the International Municipal Investment Fund (IMIF) to serve as an instrument of the Malaga coalition. The IMIF will accelerate progress towards Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement by increasing available investment for local Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) oriented projects in developing countries. The IMIF pipeline will consist of local government sponsored investments that drive the policy agenda of the coalition. Fourteen cities around the world have already been identified through a call for proposals launched by UCLG to its members to benefit from a pilot phase of the Fund. Each IMIF investment will:
- Expand the scope of municipal finance (for example, pioneer a new financial structure, contribute to a nascent municipal bond market, test a new type of PPP with local governments).
- Demonstrate how local government sponsored projects can accelerate the implementation of the global development agenda with measurable impact.
Following a competitive process, Meridiam was selected as IMIF fund manager.
UNCDF and UCLG in collaboration with FMDV will support cities access IMIF funding with policy and regulatory support at the national level that opens up domestic capital markets for sub national governments, and with technical support at the city level for project identification and structuring. IMIF will be open to investment in proposals from eligible cities. UNCDF, UCLG with FMDV and Meridiam will jointly design a common and transparent filter and investment process to select, develop and finance IMIF projects with developing country cities and local governments.
Find more information here.