Friday Funds: BlackRock, Credit Suisse, Brookfield Renewable, Lombard Odier and LGIM

The latest responsible fund news

BlackRock has launched a range of ultrashort bond ESG exchange traded funds which excludes controversial and nuclear weapons, tobacco, oil sands, thermal coal among other sectors. The ETFs are ESG versions of three existing USD, EUR and GBP BlackRock iShares UCITS ETFs, and tracks the respective Markit iBoxx ESG Liquid Investment Grade Ultrashort indices.

Credit Suisse has listed four ESG ETFs as part of its first ETF listing on the SIX Swiss stock exchange. The ETFs – benchmarked to the MSCI USA ESG Leaders and MSCI World ESG Leaders – invests in the top ESG performers by each sector of its respective parent index.

Brookfield Renewable Partners, the flagship New York and Toronto-listed renewables arm of alternative asset manager Brookfield Asset Management, is to acquire the outstanding shares of Nasdaq-listed renewables owner operator TerraForm Power it does not already own – approximately 38%. The merger will create one of the world’s largest renewable energy companies with a $50bn portfolio and reportedly over 36GW of existing and forthcoming renewable projects.

Columbia Threadneedle’s European Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (ESIF) has signed a partnership agreement with a UK smart meter and carbon reduction asset operator in anticipation of significant investment opportunities as the UK works towards its 2050 net zero emission target. Glasgow-based Smart Metering Systems (SMS) has identified a pipeline of opportunities in various stages of development such as energy efficiency systems, energy storage, distributed generation and EV charging points.

Lombard Odier Investment Management (LOIM) has launched the Climate Transition strategy which will invest in solution providers: companies from carbon intensive industries which are well positioned for the transition and those supporting climate adaptation. The strategy will have a cross-sector portfolio of 40-50 stocks and observe the Oxford Martin Principles for Climate-Conscious Investment – in addition to the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), the UK’s largest asset manager with £1.1trn (€1.2trn) assets under management, is to launch a fossil free fund later this year in conjunction with online pensions provider PensionBee. The launch follows an open letter from PensionBee’s Chief Executive, Romi Savova, critical of LGIM’s decision to retain Shell as a top holding in its Future World climate fund.

The European Commission is proceeding with over €1.4bn of green infrastructure investments to finance the purchase of electric trains, building out efficient energy systems, flood management systems, wastewater treatment facilities and others. The allocation, to be funnelled to seven EU member states, is from the EU Cohesion Fund which is aimed at member states with national incomes less than 90% of the EU average.

TIME Investments, a UK-based property asset manager, has found that renewables are the most popular real asset investment, according to feedback from financial advisers and wealth managers. Research commissioned by TIME showed that after renewables, real estate, social infrastructure and utilities were the next most popular areas for investments in the UK.