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Responsible Funds, March 21: Schroders, Community Capital Management, UBS

The round-up of responsible funds news

Schroders’ $239.4m (€173.5m) Global Climate Change Equity fund returned 30.9% in 2013 – beating the 26.7% return of its benchmark, the MSCI World – Net Return. As at this month, the one-month, three-month and six-month returns were, respectively, 5.9%, 5.9% and 18.2%. The fund, managed by Simon Webber and Giles Money, was launched in 2007 to invest in companies which will benefit from efforts to accommodate or limit the impact of global climate change.

Community Capital Management, the Florida-based investment firm with a focus on impact investing, has reportedly launched a new open-ended mutual fund. The CCM Alternative Income Fund combines absolute return and income-producing strategies, Institutional Asset Manager reported. The fund incorporates CCM’s expertise in ESG, it added. The minimum investment is $100,000 and it is an available on a number of investment platforms. In January CCM’s Chief Operating Officer Alyssa Greenspan was appointed to the board of the US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.

The €7.53m UBS Sustainable Global Leaders Fund has a one-year return of 13.45%, according to a client communication last month. Over three years, the return has been 21.97%. The fund provides access to companies with an emphasis on sustainability and which offer products/services that present solutions to thematic and global challenges.

WHEB Asset Management, the UK-based sustainability investor, says its FP WHEB Sustainability Fund has come top of Ethical Consumer’s fund provider rankings. The publication reviewed around 75 ethical funds and ranked 19 of the biggest ethical fund managers in the UK against a set of criteria. The WHEB offering received a top rating in every single category. Ethical Consumer added that green and ethical funds in the UK now have £11bn in assets.

The Global Impact Women & Girls Fund has been launched by Global Impact, the body which raises funds for worldwide humanitarian needs. The new fund brings together four charities: CARE, World Vision, Plan International USA and the International Center for Research on Women.Sydney-based sustainable boutique Australian Ethical Investments has reportedly launched a separate bond fund called the Fixed Interest Trust. The Sustainability Report, citing the firm’s investment chief David Macri, said it comprises Australian dollar-denominated fixed rate investments that meet its charter. The trust, currently at AU$120m (€79m), is benchmarked against the UBS Composite Bond Index.

RBC Generator, the C$10bn (€6.5m) investment arm of Canadian bank RBC’s Social Finance initiative, is investing in Social Capital Partners’ (SCP) Community Employment Loan portfolio, to help improve employment opportunities for youth and disadvantaged groups. It has bought C$250,000 of the portfolio and has made an additional commitment of $450,000 to SCP over the next three years. The RBC Social Finance initiative was launched in 2012 “to help ignite social and environmental change through investment activity”.

The £22.9m Pictet Environmental Megatrend Selection has retuned 6.69% in the year to the end of February, against a benchmark (MSCI World) return of 10.2%. In 2013, the fund, managed by Philippe Rohner, returned 21.0%.

Wespath, the investment arm of the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church, says its funds have received “significant” new inflows from the North Alabama United Methodist Foundation and the New York Annual Conference of White Plains, NY. For the year-to-date period ended February 28, 2014, the net-of-fees return for Wespath’s balanced fund—the Multiple Asset Fund—exceeded that of its blended benchmark index (+1.77% vs. +1.57%).

Indices

Ten companies have been added to the NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index following a review. They are: Ballard Power Systems; Hanwha SolarOne; Hydrogenics Corp.; IXYS; China Ming Yang Wind Power; Pattern Energy; Pacific Ethanol; Plug Power; Quantum Fuel Systems; and Real Goods Solar. Two firms will be removed: Aixtron and Ameresco.