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Responsible Funds, October 12: Actiam, BlackRock, Aberdeen Standard and more

The latest responsible funds news

ACTIAM has linked the Sustainable Development Goals with “planetary boundaries” in a new investment strategy developed in collaboration with fintech firm Util. As well as linking the nine planetary boundaries, as defined by the Stockholm Resilience Center, the strategy assesses the positive and negative contribution a company makes to those SDGs, taking into account that achieving one goal may inadvertently have a negative impact on others.
SDG-focused Global Sustainability Investment Trust (GST) has selected Aberdeen Standard Investments as its manager and will launch a public share offer at the end of November. The GST is targeting approximately £200m (€228m) and will invest in private market assets. FTSE Russell has launched its first index family to combine several categories of ESG-related exclusions in its design. The FTSE Global Choice Index Series consists of: FTSE Global All Cap ex US Choice Index; FTSE US All Choice Index; FTSE Developed ex Australia ex Non-Renewable Energy/Vice Products/Weapons Index. FTSE Russell said the “customisable ‘building block’ approach enables the future expansion of the series as it accommodates the differing ESG values of clients”.
BlackRock has reportedly added an ESG overlay to its €465m Global Absolute Return Bond Fund which would exclude “controversial weapons” and thermal coal extraction and generation according to a letter to shareholders. The fund lost 0.6% in three years compared with a 1% return made by the average manager in Citywire’s Alt Ucits – Bond Strategies.Raymond James Asset Management International will be launching a new fund which will single out large-cap European companies with the highest reduction of carbon emissions year-on-year. These companies must publish publish Scope 1 and 2 complete data covering at least 95% of their operations. The Carbon Momentum Fund seeks to outperform STOXX Europe 600 Total Return over a period of five years.
Reinvestment Fund – a vehicle for investment in low-income communities in the US – has raised $75.7m by selling general obligation bonds. The fund, rated by S&P as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), says the issuance reflects growing demand from institutional investors for impact products related to low-income communities. “There are currently six S&P rated CDFIs in the country, three of which have raised over $300m in bond issuances over the last year,” it pointed out.
Specialist fund management group Liontrust’s AUM hit £12bn at the end of September, with net inflows of £723m – an increase of 15% – over a six month period.