Responsible Funds, January 12: UBS launches gender ETF

The latest responsible funds news.

Swiss financial giant UBS has launched a new gender equality exchange traded fund (ETF), with Dutch gender equality advocacy group Equileap. The Global Gender Equality Ucits ETF will invest in the Solactive Equileap Global Gender Equality 100 Leaders index, which tracks the 100 leading global companies with a strong record in gender diversity and sustainability. UBS will dedicate 5% of the ETF’s management fees to philanthropic projects supporting the UN’s gender-focused SDG, via the UBS Optimus Foundation.
Investment giant Deutsche Asset Management has given its €2bn Deutsche Invest I Euro Bonds fund an ESG rebrand. It has been renamed the Deutsche Invest I ESG Euro Bonds to reflect the fund’s focus on investing in securities from issuers that meet specific ESG standards. The name change, which came into effect this month, does not affect the investment style, management, or investment objective of the fund, the firm said.
Candriam Investors Group, the €111bn European asset manager owned by New York Life Investment Management, has been awarded a French government-backed label for its Candriam SRI Bond Global High Yield fund, which it claims is the first high-yield product to receive the certification. Four other Candriam funds – three equities funds and one bond fund – have also secured the SRI label. The labels were awarded by certifier Afnor in December 2017.
Impax Asset Management Group, the AIM quoted investment manager, assets under management have risen 13% over the last quarter to £8.2bn – due to inflows from Europe and North American clients. The majority of the growth has been in Impax’s listed equities funds, with very little growth in its private equity strategy and no movement in its real estate offering. In September 2017, Impax Asset Management Group announced the acquisition, subject to conditions, of Pax World Management, the $4.5bn US fund manager of the Pax World Funds range, and one of the oldest SRI managers in the market. The latest quarterly figures do not include Pax assets.Zurich-based asset manager SUSI Partners’ Energy Efficiency Fund has closed its third transaction in the Spanish market within 12 months. The fund will finance two public energy efficient lighting agreements, signed between the Spanish energy service company Imesapi and the municipalities of the Canary Islands and Valencia.
R20 – Regions of Climate Action, an organisation founded by Arnold Schwarzenegger to support sub-national governments with green infrastructure projects, has teamed up with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and Swiss impact manager BlueOrchard to create a $350m fund for low carbon infrastructure projects at a sub-national level in Africa. The Sub National Climate Fund (SnCF) was announced at COP23 and will use a blended finance model that includes soft money from governments and foundations and senior debt from private finance institutions.
The European Commission has reportedly authorised Mirova’s responsible fund, Mirova-Eurofideme, to acquire nine wind farms in the Spanish North Eastern region of Aragón – together with General Electric. The transaction will grant them joint control of the two holding companies that own the wind farms, Idesamgar SL and Idesamgar SL 1.
The SVA Diversified Impact Fund has reportedly raised more than A$10m with investment from foundations, including the AMP Foundation and high net worth individuals. The fund, run by Social Ventures Australia (SVA), will make debt and equity investment in Australian social purpose organisations. Michael Lynch, executive director of SVA Impact Investing, said the way the fund had been received by large foundations pointed to the growing maturity of the Australian impact investing market.