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Wheb Group Hires Henderson Team for Sustainable-Resources Fund

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March 5 (Bloomberg) -- Wheb Group added a team of former Henderson Global Investors Ltd. employees to help run a sustainable-resources investment fund that’s seeking to amass more than 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion).

The four members joined Wheb Asset Management to work on the IM Wheb Sustainability Fund, George Latham, former head of Henderson’s socially responsible investing, or SRI, said by telephone from London. Latham is leading the team.

The fund, which started in June 2009, is focusing on resource-efficiency investments rather than renewables stocks as solar and wind-power companies grapple with surplus capacity and weakening state support. The fund targets businesses working in areas such as climate protection and water, according to Latham.

“In a time that’s been extraordinarily difficult for a number of clean-energy companies, the dominant theme has been around resource efficiency,” he said March 2. “Companies which enable us to use resources more efficiently see a very rapid payback to a lot of their products,” he said, declining to specify investments.

Latham plans to increase the fund to “significantly over 1 billion pounds,” up from about 30 million pounds now, he said, without giving a time frame.

Latham and his former colleagues on the SRI team at London-based Henderson, including Tim Dieppe, Seb Beloe and Hyewon Kong, left after the company decided against having a specialist SRI fund in its portfolio, Latham said. Their departure was announced in December.

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Sally Bakewell in London at Sbakewell1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net