Friday Funds: NNIP adds social bond fund to ESG debt range

The latest developments in ESG-related funds: Robeco launches transition strategy, Amundi transitions Italian ETF to ESG index.

NN Investment Partners has launched an inaugural social bond fund to complement its range of funds investing in green-labelled debt. The fund will buy euro-denominated investment grade social bonds from global issuers but can also invest in sustainability bonds where more than 50 percent of proceeds will be allocated to social expenditures. Roel van Broekhuizen, one of the managers on NN IP’s labelled debt range, said the firm would be actively engaging with issuers “to prevent social washing”.

Robeco has launched a new equity strategy focusing on firms involved in the net-zero transition. The strategy, classified as Article 9 under SFDR, will invest in companies that “make an active contribution to mitigating climate change”, including those decarbonising by 7 percent annually, clean tech, mining equipment suppliers and nature-based assets or transition capital providers. The fund will invest in 30 to 40 companies across sectors and will engage portfolio companies on the Just Transition. It will be benchmarked against the MSCI World Climate Change Index for both performance and decarbonisation.

Amundi has transitioned one of its Italian ETFs to track a newly develop Euronext ESG index. The index picks the 40 strongest ESG performers measured by VE out of the 60 most liquid companies on the Borsa Italiana, as well as excluding companies in breach of the UN Global Compact and involved in controversial activities.

Mediolanum International Funds has launched two vehicles, one designated multi-asset ESG and the other energy transition. The multi-asset fund, which will be delegated to Schroders, is classified as Article 8 and “seeks to generate financial returns through a sustainability filter using an investment process focused on ESG integration”. The energy transition fund will be delegated to a trio of Schroders, KBIGI and Pictet, investing in energy companies “that are instrumental to and will benefit from the transition to a more sustainable economy”.