Responsible Funds, June 7: Calvert merges money market funds

The round-up of responsible funds news

US-based sustainable fund firm Calvert is planning to merge three of its money market funds into its Calvert Ultra-Short Income Fund – “given the current market environment, as well as our outlook on interest rates for money market investments”. The funds affected are its Money Market Portfolio, First Government Money Market Fund, and Cash Reserves Institutional Prime Fund. Pending shareholder approval, the mergers are expected to be finalized on or prior to December 31.

SUSI Partners AG, the Swiss investment advisor, is launching an institutional fund to finance the green renovation of public and private buildings, factories and other infrastructure. The 12-year, €300m Energy Efficiency Fund (EEF) would take the form of a Luxemburg SICAV, with approval expected by early July. The fund will invest in renovation projects in Western Europe, with a particular focus on Switzerland and Germany.

The World Bank’s private finance arm the IFC has committed €10m to a private equity fund to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in North Africa called Capital North Africa Venture Fund II. The fund, which already has commitments of €75m of a targeted €100m, will be run by Morocco-based Capital Invest International.

The Wellcome Trust, the £14.5bn (€17bn) foundation, is backing a new £6.5m fund that aims to save lives following humanitarian crisis. The Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) programme is being launched by Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRHA), supported by the Trust and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).DWS, the retail fund arm of Deutsche Bank, has recently combined two of its sustainable equity funds into the new €7.5m DWS Invest II ESG Equity Europe, managed by Susana Penarrubia. It invests in European equities that meet DWS’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria, with input from research firm Sustainalytics. The fund has 34.4% of its assets invested in German stocks, 28.7% in France and just over 18% in Switzerland and the Netherlands. Its biggest holdings include Dutch food group Unilever, Swiss drugs firm Novartis, French drugs firm Sanofi and German automaker BMW. Link

US-based investment fund platform Aliier is developing a sustainability/ESG focused fund manager platform. “We are looking to initially identify about 40-50 strong sustainability, ESG, responsible investing managers of various asset classes from around the world,” says Managing Principal Daniel Allen in a posting on the ESG Investing group on Linked-In.

The €535mPictet Timber Fund has returned 29.7% in the year to the end of April, against +15.9% for its MSCI World EUR Hedged benchmark, according to fund documents. The fund, which is managed by Gabriel Micheli and Christoph Butz, invests at least two-thirds of its assets in the shares of companies involved in forestry and associated sectors.

MSCI, the index and environmental, social and governance (ESG) firm, has launched two new ESG indices. The MSCI Emerging Markets ESG Index and the MSCI ACWI ESG Index add to the MSCI Global Sustainability Indices family. The move is “in response to growing demand in the market” said Remy Briand, MSCI’s Global Head of Index and ESG Research. The two new offerings aim to capture securities with high ESG rankings which are derived from in-depth analysis across a spectrum of ESG factors.