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Responsible Funds, Nov. 1: Vontobel, Brown Advisory, Colonial First State/Baillie Gifford, NNIP/Irish Life, TD Ameritrade

The latest responsible funds news

Vontobel Asset Management has added new impact indicators to its Clean Technology fund, allowing investors to see Potential Avoided Emissions (PAEs) and carbon footprints. The additional impact indicators build on the fund’s proprietary calculation tool, which is available to investors on Vontobel’s website. The tool has been developed alongside and verified by climate experts from the consultancy ISS ESG. Vontobel said the new feature would allow investors to “shift from the current focus on mitigating ESG risks to positive impact considerations”.

Colonial First State (CFS) and Baillie Gifford have launched a fund focused on stewardship and governance, aimed at Australian investors. The Baillie Gifford Global Stewardship Fund “gives investors access to a stock-driven global portfolio that combines the best elements of stewardship, governance, and specialist regional expertise to invest in responsible growth businesses,” according to CFS. The fund’s UK counterpart, launched in December 2015, has achieved a net return of 5.7% annually over the MSCI All Country World Index benchmark.

Brokerage TD Ameritrade is to offer ESG portfolios alongside its core investment options for its $1.3bn 529 Plan – the first US college savings plan to do so. The ESG portfolios will be rolled out from November 18 and will be offered through both direct-to-consumer and registered investment adviser TD Ameritrade channels.

Geneva-based asset manager Quaero Capital has teamed up with Cullen Capital Management to launch an actively managed ESG US equity fund, media reports have said. The Quaero Capital Funds (Lux) – Cullen ESG US Value fund will use both quantitative and fundamental research to select 25-30 US stocks with high valuations and ESG profiles. The strategy is a subfund of the Quaero Capital Funds (Lux) Luxembourg SICAV.

Australia’s AMP Capital is to acquire a 50% stake in Macarthur Wind Farm, the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere, for approximately A$880m (€545m). The transaction will be made through its AMP Capital Community Infrastructure Fund (CommIF) and AMP Capital Core Infrastructure fund (CIF), and marks CommIF’s first investment in the renewable energy sector.Brown Advisory, the $76bn global investment firm, has launched a sustainable fund. The Global Leaders Sustainable Fund, part of its Dublin-UCITS umbrella today, adds ESG screens “in response to client demand” and will be managed by Mick Dillon and Bertie Thomson. The new offering adds to an existing range which includes the flagship U.S. Sustainable Growth Fund, managed by Karina Funk and David Powell, and the All Cap SRI Fund.

NN Investment Partners (NN IP) and Irish Life Investment Managers have introduced three new sustainable enhanced index funds. The partnership sees NN IP determine the stock selection and monitor the funds’ sustainability characteristics, while Irish Life IM executes day-to-day portfolio management. The NN (L) European Enhanced Index Sustainable Equity, NN (L) Global Enhanced Index Sustainable Equity, and NN (L) North America Enhanced Index Sustainable Equity are all Luxembourg-registered. The partners had previously launched NN (L) Emerging Markets Enhanced Index Sustainable Equity fund in March.

Zurich-based impact asset manager responsAbility has had its mandate extended for the $670m Global Climate Partnership Fund (GCPF), the public-private partnership dedicated to mitigating climate change in emerging markets launched by German Development Bank KfW in 2009. The fund has so far disbursed close to $400m in climate loans in 24 countries, representing avoided 17m tonnes of CO2 emissions and 500 MW of installed clean energy capacity. responsAbility has managed the fund since 2014.

Italian alternatives investor Green Arrow Capital (GAC) has acquired a slew of renewable energy infrastructure funds representing over 300MW from Quercus Investment Partners, for an undisclosed amount. GAC agreed to acquire 100% of Quercus’ Luxembourg platform Quercus Assets Selection Sarl (QAS), which includes the Quercus Renewable Energy, Quercus Renewable Energy II, Quercus European Renewables, Quercus Italian Wind Fund and the Quercus Italian Solar Fund. Investors in the platform include Italian and international institutional investors as well as a Swiss Life joint venture.