Friday Funds, Feb. 21: TBF excludes US treasuries over climate and social issues

The latest responsible funds news

German boutique TBF Global Asset Management has excluded US Treasuries from its €222m mixed-asset fund TBF Global Income on ESG grounds. The planned exit of the US from the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as its decision to not ratify the Kyoto Protocols and the UN biodiversity convention, are reasons given for exclusion, according to media reports, as are the death penalty and implementation of land mines. US Treasuries formerly accounted for 12-14% of the portfolio, and have been replaced by AAA-rated US corporate bonds.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) has launched an environmental impact strategy targeting firms working towards clean energy, resource efficiency, sustainable consumption and production, circular economy and water sustainability. The Goldman Sachs Global Environmental Impact Equity Portfolio will be managed by GSAM’s Global Equity Team led by Alexis Deladerrière. Deladerrière also runs the Global Equity Partners ESG portfolio and the Global Equity Partners portfolio, which returned 35.7% and 35.3%, respectively, compared to a sector average of 26.9% over three years.

UBS and BlackRock have partnered up on a new SDG-focused “development bank debt ETF”, with UBS providing seed capital for the $120m fund. According to the partners, the iShares USD Development Bank Bonds UCITS ETF offers UBS wealth client exposure to high-quality multilateral development bank debt by tracking the FTSE World Broad Investment-Grade USD MDB Bond Capped Index. The FTSE index offers exposure to US dollar debt securities from issuers that carry an AAA credit rating from at least one major rating agency, have the US as a member, and have pledged support for critical SDGs. The ETF will be included in certain UBS Global Wealth Management (GWM) mandates and offered on GWM platforms as an alternative to traditional high-quality fixed income investments such as government bonds.

Swiss renewables manager re:cap has acquired three wind farms in Germany and France from German alternative energy producer Energiequelle. The 19MW portfolio represents the final investment for re:cap’s Wind Infrastructure I, a sub-fund of the Luxembourg-based FP Lux Investments fund family. Wind Infrastructure I has invested €600m since its launch, making it one of the largest onshore wind funds in Europe.

Swiss sustainable infrastructure fund manage SUSI Partners has raised €125m for its second energy efficiency fund since its last close in July 2019, bringing total commitments to the SUSI Energy Efficiency Fund II (SEEF II) to €275m. The firm said a number of additional investors are in advanced due diligence and that it is targeting a final close “significantly exceeding €300m” in coming months. SEEF II has invested €93m to date in a portfolio including a variety of energy efficiency measures such as LED lighting and new heating systems.  

European-domiciled ESG ETFs gathered €2.3bn in January 2020, according to Lyxor ETF Research and Solutions’ latest Money Monitor, up from around €1.4bn in January 2019. Equity ESG ETFs represented €2.1bn of flows, with fixed income accounting for €0.2bn.