Friday Funds: MSCI launches climate action indexes

The latest developments in ESG-related funds: VanEck announces circular economy ETF; Robeco to launch biodiversity equities fund.

MSCI has launched climate action indexes for investors seeking net-zero transition progress metrics. The indexes are designed for equity investors aiming to drive the low-carbon transition in the real economy. The equity climate indexes will select companies based on the 11 Global Industry Classification Standard sectors. It will also aim to help investors that are seeking to align with the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero recommendations on addressing real-economy emissions reductions. The indexes will add to MSCI’s existing suite of low-carbon target indexes and climate Paris-aligned indexes.

VanEck has launched a circular economy UCITS ETF to support the recycling and reuse of resources. The fund, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, will invest in companies that contribute to the development of resource-efficient materials, production and distribution solutions. It is part of VanEck’s European impact fund range.

Robeco will launch a biodiversity equities fund on Monday 31 October. The equity strategy will target companies that advocate for biodiversity by supporting use of natural resources and ecosystem services, as well as technology and products that help reduce or restore nature. The fund will be run by senior portfolio manager David Thomas.

The asset management arm of Van Lanschot Kempen has downgraded three Article 9 funds to Article 8 ahead of the upcoming SFDR level 2 disclosures. The Sustainable Europe Small-cap I, Euro Sustainable Credit J and Global Sustainable Equity funds have combined assets of €872 million.

SWEN Capital Partners has exceeded the funding target of €120 million for its Blue Ocean Fund ahead of final closing in December. The Article 9 fund raised an additional €38 million in the latest round, taking the total to €150 million. Existing investors include insurance firms MACIF and MAIF, banking group Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, French sovereign investment fund Bpifrance, Builders Vision, Ferd, the Planet Ocean Fund and Ifremer. The fund, which was launched in September last year, has invested in eight companies and plans to finance a further 20 to 25 biodiversity start-ups.

Warburg Invest AG and Alpha Centauri have partnered to launch a climate long/short equity fund. The Article 9 fund will employ a largely market-neutral investment strategy in European equities, with around 60 stocks long and short. The climate-smart Europe fund will also aim to select stocks with a low-carbon factor to achieve an overall negative carbon footprint on equity strategy level.