Responsible Funds & Indices, March 15: Pax World shutters ESG exchange traded fund

The round-up of responsible funds & indices news


US sustainable fund management firm Pax World Management has closed and liquidated its Pax MSCI North America ESG Index ETF. “We haven’t been able to achieve satisfactory trading volume or asset growth, so we have decided to close the fund,” said Pax World President and CEO Joe Keefe. The exchange traded fund used a passive strategy to track the performance of the MSCI North America ESG Index. Pax World will still offer an ETF to track the MSCI EAFE [Europe, Australasia, Far East] ESG Index.

Allianz Global Investors (AGI) says it now has seed money from institutional investors for one of its first renewable technology closed-funds. “We have first commitments from investors, but have yet to set a date for the launch of the fund,” a spokesman said without providing further details. At the start of year, AGI formed a six-member renewable investment and infrastructure equity team that is headed by former Allianz Climate Solutions CEO Armin Sandhoevel in Frankfurt.

The TIAACREF Social Choice Bond Fund has been added to ESG Managers, the socially responsible multi-manager fund platform from Pax World and Morningstar. Other managers on the platform, which was launched in in 2010, include Access Capital Strategies, Ariel Investments, ClearBridge Advisers, Community Capital Management, Everence Capital Management, Impax Asset Management, Miller/Howard Investments, Neuberger Berman, Parnassus Investments, Pax World Investments, Portfolio 21 and Schroders. “The TIAACREF Social Choice Bond Fund will fill a demand from investors looking for income through a Sustainable Investment lens,” said Pax World CEO Joe Keefe.

Wölbern Invest, a Hamburg-based provider of closed funds targeted primarily to private investors, is shutting down all of its property funds, including nine that have a sustainable strategy. As part of the shutdown, Wölbern Invest is selling 37 commercial properties held in the funds for an expected €1.4bn. It said was necessary following a sharp decline in prices and rents.The £97.1m (€112.5m) BlackRock New Energy Trust saw its net asset value (NAV) appreciate by 4.6% in February. In comparison, the MSCI World Index returned 4.4% and the WilderHill New Energy Global Innovations gained 6.7%. Link

The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) has teamed up with finance group Metrus Energy to launch an energy efficiency fund. The new Efficiency Resource Fund will provide financing for small and medium-sized businesses to make energy-efficiency improvements. CalCEF expects to raise $10 million from investors by the end of the year.


Three Toronto-listed companies are to be removed from Sustainalytics’ Jantzi Social Index due to their “lagging sustainability performance”, following an annual review. They are: energy firm Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.; telecoms firm Shaw Communications; and Quebec-based pharmacy chain Jean Coutu Group. Additions include media group Corus Entertainment, energy group Enerplus Corporation, Labrador Iron Ore Royalty, New Gold and ShawCor.

Three companies will be removed from the NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index. They are: New York-listed energy services firm Ameresco and geothermal power group Ormat Technologies; and Nasdaq-listed tech firm Rubicon Technology. Seven companies will be added to the index, which tracks the performance of publicly traded clean-energy companies. They include: Canadian Solar, EMCORE Corp., FuelCell Energy, Green Plains Renewable Energy, Renewable Energy Group, ReneSola and Suntech Power. The index is re-ranked every March and September. Announcement