Fund Solutions

This Week’s Fund News: Northern Trust, Schroders, Aegon UK And More

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

Northern Trust Asset Management has expanded its sustainability solutions with the launch of a climate aware emerging market index strategy. The index will combine Northern Trust’s ESG exclusion approach, excluding fossil fuels, for example. The index will apply MSCI’s transition risk management score to minimise climate-related risks and including positive tilts to help maximise opportunities to transitioning to a low carbon economy. “We are pleased to offer this latest strategy which enables our clients’ exposure to equities that combine ESG screens with a climate aware approach, whilst harnessing the exposure to emerging markets,” said Valeria Dinershteyn, Senior Sustainable Investing Strategist for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific at Northern Trust AM.  

Schroders has added to its UK sustainable fund range with the launch of the Global Sustainable Growth (GSG) and Global Energy Transition (GET) funds. This follows the launch of the Schroder BSC Social Impact Trust in December 2020. The Luxembourg-based equivalent of GSG was launched in 2010 and GET in 2019, as part of Schroders’ Global Transformation Range. The Schroders GSG fund seeks to provide capital growth through sustainably-run companies. “Although 2020 was a challenging year for economies, investment strategies focused on sustainable companies and renewables performed well. These funds alongside our other sustainable offerings, such as the Global Cities fund and Schroder BSC Social Impact Trust Plc, will certainly help UK investors achieve their goals as we continue to look to grow our UK-domiciled range of dedicated sustainable funds and investment trusts during 2021,” said Doug Abbott, Head of UK Intermediary Business at Schroders. 

Investment firm Astarte Capital Partners has partnered with forestry development and management company SilviPar AB to launch the SA Impact Forestry Fund (SAIFF), a new investment platform that is dedicated to sustainable forestry in Latin America. With a particular focus on Paraguay, the fund strategy is to acquire, develop and manage new and existing forest assets at scale. As well as this, the fund aims to contribute to carbon sequestration, developing green infrastructure and generate employment. “We are delighted to be partnering with Silvipar. The team has deep expertise in the forestry space and operations of the highest quality and standards. We are looking forward to working with such an exceptional team, with whom we share the same vision and principles across all aspects of business and sustainability,” said Teresa Farmaki and Dr. Stavros Siokas, Co-Founders of Astarte Capital Partners. 

Financial services company Aegon UK has put a £1.7 billion investment into an ESG component for its default funds in its Aegon Retirement Choice (ARC) workplace pension proposition. Key ARC default funds will track the performance of the FTSE Developed ESG Low Carbon Select Index. This follows Aegon UK’s net-zero emissions by 2050 pledge, with a further ambition to halve emissions by 2030. This is the beginning of “an ambitious programme of change across our default range”, said Tim Orton, Managing Director for Investment Solutions at Aegon.  

Mondrian Investment Partners has launched its UCITs-compliant Global Green Bond Fund. The fund will invest in sovereign and corporate bonds. It will invest 75% of the fund’s net asset value in green bonds – classifying green bonds as bond instruments where proceeds are applied to ESG-conscious projects. The fund will be managed by Sarah Mitchell and David Cudmore. 

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