Responsible Funds & Indices, July 26: Citigroup, Morgan Stanley added to Calvert Social Index

The round-up of responsible funds news

Investment banks Citigroup and Morgan Stanley are to be added to the Calvert Social Index, which measures the performance of large, U.S.-based companies following sustainable and responsible policies. The former has “demonstrated improved corporate governance and product safety management systems and disclosure”. The latter has also shown improved corporate governance management systems and disclosure. The additions should take place in September 2013.

The $159.6m Aberdeen Global – Ethical World Equity Fund has returned 16.75% over the year to the end of June, compared to a benchmark (FTSE World) return of 18.10%. The fund invests in equities and equity-related securities using fundamental analysis and ethical and socially responsible criteria. Its largest holdings are Roche Holdings, Vodafone Group and Zurich Insurance.

And the $182.4m Aberdeen Global – Responsible World Equity Fund has returned 14.08% over the same period, against a 19.27% return for its benchmark, the MSCI World. Its largest holdings are Taiwan’s TSMC, Novartis and Roche Holdings.

The Jupiter Green Investment Trust, the £39m UK-listed environmental vehicle, has adopted a “discount control policy” where it will use buy backs and new issues of shares to ensure that its shares don’t deviate too much from their estimated net asset value. “The Board believes that the removal of discount risk will provide materially improved liquidity for both buyers and sellers of the Company’s shares,” it said, although there was no guarantee that the move “will have its desired effect”.Frankfurt asset manager Union Investment says its renewable technology fund for German institutions has doubled its assets since its launch a year ago, going from around €50m to more than €100m. Speaking at a news conference in Hamburg, Union board executive Alexander Schindler said church investors in Germany were mainly behind the increase in the fund’s assets. The strategy for the closed-end fund, the first ever launched by a German asset manager, is to invest 70% of assets in onshore wind parks and the remainder in other renewables, chief of which is photovoltaic (PV). Union also announced that its sustainable funds for retail and institutional clients now had €6.5bn invested in them – up from €5.8bn at the end of 2012.

The €430m RobecoSAM Sustainable European Equities fund run by Kai Fachinger has returned 18.30% over the year to the end of last month – compared to a benchmark return of 16.05%. The fund invests in companies that are best positioned for long-term sustainable value creation as valued by the SAM valuation model that integrates both financial and extra-financial sustainability factors. Fachinger is responsible for co-managing SAM’s Sustainable Core Active and Sustainable Core Equity Strategies.

The LGT Sustainable Equity Fund Global, the €110.1m Liechtenstein-domiciled fund, has returned 9.58% in the year to the end of June, according to fund documents. The investment objective is to invest sustainably while also outperforming the benchmark.