UK’s Brunel pensions pool tenders up to £1.5bn in sustainable equities

Investor says it will favour managers with internal ESG research capabilities

Brunel Pension Partnership, the £30bn (€33.9bn) ESG-focused UK pension pool, is looking for expressions of interest from “sustainable equities managers” for its £1bn+ Global Sustainable Equities offering.

Brunel states in its press release that it “will favour managers with an internal ESG research capability, who take qualitative approaches, and who address ESG through positive screens”.

“We will be looking for a truly global approach to sustainable investing”

Adding that the pool is “interested in a global approach rather than those covering only certain regions”.

The portfolio size will initially be up to £1.5bn, but that figure may rise.

Brunel expects to spread the portfolio between three and five managers, with “diverse and complementary approaches”.

“We will be looking for a truly global approach to sustainable investing that embraces the vision of sustainable economic growth that supports a thriving environment and society,” said Faith Ward, Chief Responsible Investment Officer at Brunel.Brunel describes its sustainable equities sub-fund as “a long-term focused investment approach which integrates Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) considerations throughout the whole investment process, decision making, stewardship, policies and strategies.

“It goes beyond risks and seeks to maximise exposure to positive pursuit companies, targeting solutions to sustainability and benefiting society as a whole.”

The deadline for expressions of interest is October 11, with a formal launch for the sub-fund slated for the second quarter of 2020.

“This is an exciting opportunity to work with Brunel on an innovative, positive approach to pensions investment,” says Mark Mansley, Brunel’s Chief Investment Officer.

“The portfolio aims to generate excellent long-term financial returns by investing in companies that are able to clearly demonstrate that sustainability is at the core of what they do.”

Brunel, which is currently recruiting for a new CEO following the resignation of Dawn Turner in the summer, operates on behalf of 10 client funds: Cornwall, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon, Avon, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Oxfordshire as well as the Environment Agency Pension Fund.