Fund Solutions

This Week’s Fund News: Rathbone, Invesco, Mirova, T Rowe Price And More 

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

Rathbone Unit Trust Management has announced plans to launch the Rathbone Greenbank Multi-Asset Portfolios during the first half of 2021, which will include four sustainable investment funds. The portfolios will be managed by Rathbone’s Head of Multi-Asset Investments, David Coombs. The new range will invest in line with the sustainability framework developed by Rathbone’s sustainable research team, Greenbank Investments, which focuses on health and wellbeing, and energy and climate. Investment vehicles will include government bonds, supra-national bonds and derivatives. Greenbank is able to veto investments which do not meet the firm’s responsible investment policy. “Subject to regulatory approval, these new multi-asset funds will be able to map into advisors’ investment processes across most client risk appetites, and with the industry-leading ethical and sustainable oversight of Greenbank as an authentic, independent arbiter. We believe that this strong collaboration ensures the integrity that our clients have come to expect of us,” said Mike Webb, CEO of Rathbone Unit Trust Management.

Invesco has launched its Summit Responsible Range, five risk-targeted global multi-asset funds which will incorporate ESG considerations into their portfolios, using Invesco’s Responsible Asset Allocation framework that helps define the appropriate ESG characteristics in prospective investments. The five funds aim to invest 100% of their assets into ESG investments while remaining globally diverse and generating long-term returns. The funds will invest in low-cost ESG instruments, such as ETFs, and will cover different volatility targets, from 15% of global equity volatility to 105%. “By putting ‘Responsible Asset Allocation’ at the start of the portfolio construction process, our proposition offers investors clarity on what drives our responsible investing decisions,” said co-fund manager of the portfolios, Clive Emery.

Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers, has announced the creation of a co-investment vehicle. This will allow investors to participate in the acquisition of EDP, Portugal’s second largest hydroelectric portfolio, alongside power company Engie and insurance company Credit Agricole Assurances. Current investors in the co-investment vehicle include Natixis Assurances, Groupama and LHI Group. The deal was completed in late December and valued at €2.2 billion. “For this transaction we had a very strong round of partners from the beginning and were confident that others would join. We are grateful to our co-investors to have given us their trust, a positive endorsement which encourages us to target much largest assets than previously and helping to diversify our portfolio,” said Raphael Lance, Mirova’s Head of Energy Transition Funds.

T Rowe Price has launched its first UK-focused sustainable investment strategy with the T Rowe Price Funds OEIC – Responsible UK Equity Fund. The fund, managed by Mitchell Todd, applies a socially responsible screen, which excludes any companies involved in what the firm considers to be an extreme ESG breach, without future plans to remediate the issue. Using the firm’s Responsible Investing Indicator Model (RIIM), the fund will screen the investment universe for responsible investing risks and opportunities. “We are extremely pleased with the ongoing development of our OEIC range, alongside the continual strengthening of our client service capability across all investor segments,” said John Yule, Head of UK and Ireland at T Rowe Price.

Nordea Asset Management has won a mandate valued at US$240 million for its ESG-focused Emerging Stars Equity strategy. The ‘Stars’ strategy focuses on identifying companies that display sustainable and responsible business models. The US$240 million investment came from Finland’s Varma Pension Insurance Company, which has a sustainability-focused portfolio valued around €47 billion, as well as €2 billion in listed emerging markets equities. “Being appointed by Varma for a large emerging market equity investment is obviously something we are extremely pleased with, and something we consider to be a true testament to the work we are doing in terms of ESG as well as to the strong and competitive risk-adjusted performance that has been delivered throughout the years,” said Anders Madsen, Head of Institutional and Wholesale Distribution in Northern Europe at Nordea.

Empire Life Insurance Company (Empire Life) has launched two segregated funds have been added to an existing suite of six multi-strategy global investment funds (GIFs) and a standalone fund with a sustainable investing focus. The Empire Life Multi-Strategy Global Growth GIF and Empire Life Multi-Strategy Global Growth Balanced Portfolio GIF will provide investors with more exposure to growth-oriented and sustainable global securities through a combination of passive and actively-managed strategies. “[The two funds] are designed to complement our existing Empire Life Guaranteed Investment Funds which offer customers a value-oriented investment approach,” said Ian Hardacre, Senior Vice-President and CIO at Empire Life.

The practical information hub for asset owners looking to invest successfully and sustainably for the long term. As best practice evolves, we will share the news, insights and data to guide asset owners on their individual journey to ESG integration.

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