Fund Solutions

This Week’s Fund Launches: AXA IM, State Street, BlackRock, Morgan Stanley and More

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of new funds designed to meet sustainable investing criteria. 

AXA Investment Managers has launched an ESG integrated fund, the AXA Global Strategic Bond Fund. Managed by Nick Hayes and Nicolas Trinidade, the fund invests in fixed income assets, making use of top-down strategic asset allocation and bottom-up regional and sector-specific credit election. Hayes said: “With so much uncertainty facing fixed income investors at the moment, we believe now is the optimum time to hold such a flexible strategy.”

Asset management firm State Street Global Advisors has launched two new ESG fixed income ETFs. The SPDR Bloomberg SASB Euro Corporate ESG UCITS ETF and SPDR Bloomberg SASB US Corporate ESG UCITS ETF were designed in collaboration with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and will cover European and US investment grade corporate bonds. Both will track indices which exclude issuers tagged with extreme event controversies, controversial weapons, UNGC violations, civilian firearms, thermal coal extraction and tobacco production.

Swiss asset management firm Bantleon has launched the Select Green Bonds mutual fund. The investment process will involve five central criteria: greenwashing, emission/issuer analysis, use of funds and administration, reporting, second opinion and certification. Bantleon examines green bonds on the basis of exclusion criteria and the use of funds, with a focus on compatibility with UN sustainability goals. The fund’s targeted ESG ratings and standards exceed benchmark figures, with the fund investing in Euro-denominated global green bonds with an investment-grade rating of up to 25% of fund assets invested in high-yield bonds with a minimum rating of B- or B3.

Blackrock has launched its first ESG Asian corporate bond fund this week. Investing in US Dollar-denominated Asian credit, with a focus on companies exhibiting strong ESG criteria, the BGF ESG Asian Bond Fund will be benchmarked against the JP Morgan Asia Credit ESG Index, which excludes controversial sectors.

London CIV and Morgan Stanley Investment Management have launched the LCIV Global Equity Core Fund. Consisting of a portfolio featuring high-quality companies, and omitting sectors such as tobacco, alcohol and fossil fuels, the carbon footprint of this portfolio is 95% lighter than the MSCI World Index per US$1 million invested. “Responsible Investment has become an increasingly important consideration for Asset Owners and at London CIV we are continuing to develop solutions that meet with these high expectations,” said Jason Fletcher, Chief Investment Officer at London CIV.

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