Responsible Funds, January 11: BNP Paribas, Nordea, Schroders, ABN AMRO, Circularity Capital

The latest responsible funds news

BNP Paribas has listed its first two green structured products on the Nasdaq Nordic Sustainable Debt Market. The products “offer investors the benefits of partial capital protection, while giving exposure towards a selection of global companies with a strong sustainability track record”. Announcement

Nordea Asset Management has expanded its ESG range – the STARS equity family – with the launch of the $350m Nordea 1 – North American Stars Equity Fund. The Nordic firm says, in the STARS range, ESG is fully integrated and engagement is used to create real impact. The fund is managed by Johan Swahn from the Fundamental Equities Team, who also is portfolio manager of the Nordea 1 – Global Stars Equity Fund.

The board of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a $500m managed credit portfolio intended to develop infrastructure as an asset class and promote ESG in Emerging Asia. The AIIB Asia ESG Enhanced Credit Managed Portfolio will be made up of infrastructure-related corporate bonds, screened and managed in line with AIIB’s Environmental and Social Framework.

Schroders has launched the Schroder ISF European Sustainable Equity fund, which will combine “extensive bottom-up research” with Schroders’ new ESG framework – called Context – which identifies firms with leading and improving sustainability profiles. The fund will be managed by Nicholette MacDonald-Brown, the UK firm’s co-head of Pan-European Equity Research and portfolio manager, and Scott MacLennan, Fund Manager. Link

Dutch bank ABN AMRO will reportedly measure the ESG credentials of many more of its investments in 2019, following the announcement of a partnership with ratings group Morningstar. The bank said it previously measured the ESG credentials of 4,000 companies and 900 investment funds prior to the deal, but said this would increase to 10,000 companies and 38,000 investment funds.Circularity Capital, the specialist private equity firm investing in companies contributing to the ‘circular economy’, has reached final close of a dedicated fund, exceeding its £50m target and closing at its £60m hard cap. AXA Investment Managers and BNP Paribas Fortis were among investors in the Circularity European Growth Fund I LP, which targets equity investments in European SMEs enabling the circular economy that can “outperform the market and their linear competitors”.

US-based Advisors Asset Management has appointed Kames Capital as Portfolio Consultant for a new sustainable unit investment trust (UIT). Managed by Craig Bonthron and Neil Goddin from Kames’ global equity team, the Kames Sustainable Equity Portfolio will invest in global equities which meet the firm’s sustainability criteria.

Jupiter Fund Management saw net outflows
of £1.5bn in the last quarter, according to a trading update. Its assets under management at the end of 2018 totalled £42.7bn – a reduction of £5bn over three months, of which £3.5bn was driven by market decline, the firm said. Net mutual fund outflows were £1.7bn, £1.3bn of which were from its Fixed Income strategy, mainly in Continental Europe and the UK. The US Small & Midcap Companies (UT) Fund was also closed in the quarter, contributing £12m to net outflows. Jupiter will host an analyst presentation to discuss the results on March 1.

La Financière de l’Echiquier (LFDE), a €10bn independent fund manager in France, has reportedly integrated ESG across its entire fund range.

ResponsAbility Investments and Oikocredit have contributed to a $9m solar debt financing facility. Uganda-based solar company SolarNow. SolarNow plans to use the proceeds to deploy 17,500 off-grid solar systems across Uganda.