Zamo Capital backs social investment firm SASC

Zamo Capital I LP (Zamo), a European specialist investor in impact investment firms, has made its first investment since launching in November 2019 in Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC), a specialist investment manager focused on social housing.

Zamo’s investment comes at a time when the social housing sector is showing marked resilience in comparison to the majority of the real estate market. The impact of Covid-19 has increased the already considerable demand for safe, stable and appropriate housing for the most disadvantaged in our society and reinforced the appeal of stable rental payments paid by government.

 
SASC’s ability to respond to the growing demand for social housing in the current crisis is supported by Zamo’s investment, allowing it to scale its activities and accelerate fundraising for its award-winning fund, Social and Sustainable Housing (SASH). In addition to the investment, SASC will benefit from Zamo’s proven expertise, support, and established network of investors. 
 
Using a highly innovative structure, SASH generates both commercial returns and significant impact. Finance provided by the fund allows high performing social enterprises who have a strong track record in the management of social housing to purchase properties.  These will be located in areas where the borrower has geographic knowledge and a close relationship with the local authorities who are the source of the rental income. 
 
The Fund’s target is to provide homes for 10,000 people who are homeless, or at risk of becoming so, whilst generating attractive returns for investors. The support provided by SASH’s investees to their tenants gives disadvantaged individuals the best chance of breaking the cycle of poverty.
 
Zamo invests in impact fund managers and provides rocket fuel to scale them. With its proven expertise, Zamo moves rapidly to provide the capital, intensive support, and an established network of investors to help raise new capital to accelerate the growth of these firms. For SASC, this includes expanding their team to add new capabilities, and funding the cost of raising more capital. Other Zamo investments may involve supporting managers to open new offices, warehousing showcase deals, financing the buy-out of founder partner interests, and co-investment.    
 
SASC was founded in 2012 by Ben Rick and Adam Knight following careers at leading investment banks including Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs.
 
Dr Jim Roth, Founder and Partner of Zamo, says: "The pandemic creates more need than ever for social housing. Ben Rick, the Managing Director of SASC, has built a dream team of investment professionals drawn from stellar careers in the City’s leading investment firms, and created a governance board of private equity and other investors that would not look out of place in a FTSE company. They have applied their considerable talents to develop a commercial product to meet one of society's most intractable challenges. 
  
“The SASC housing fund, backed by both property and very stable government welfare payments, helps transform social enterprises from being renters of property to owners. It provides investors with an opportunity for commercial returns as well as a way to fulfil their ESG obligations. It will be attractive to a broad range of investors who want to both make impact investments and meet their fiduciary obligations, including institutional asset managers, local government, foundations and family offices.” 
 
Ben Rick, Managing Director of SASC, says: “As we near completion of SASH’s eighth investment, we are delighted to have received Zamo’s investment in SASC. It is a powerful endorsement of our success to date and will enable us to accelerate the growth of our team and infrastructure so we can help more people, more quickly. We will benefit immeasurably from Jim Roth and his team’s proven expertise as impact investors, established network and track-record in scaling impact managers.”
 
SASH’s other investors include institutional asset managers, endowments, foundations and family offices such as CCLA Investment Management, Big Society Capital, University of Edinburgh Endowment, and Garfield Weston.  
 
James Bevan, Chief Investment Officer of CCLA, says: “We are pleased that Zamo has come on board to accelerate the fundraising for SASH which we view as an innovative way of addressing market failures in social housing at the same time as generating strong long-term returns."
 
Nat Sloane, Chair of SASC, says: “The Board of SASC is very pleased that Zamo Capital has decided to support our expansion plans. SASH is an innovative product that can deliver deep social impact for vulnerable people and provide a solid risk-adjusted return to investors. Members of the SASC Board and investment committee believe in the social impact and return potential of both SASC and SASH.  We have invested a substantial sum into SASC alongside Zamo and into the first close of SASH.”