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Responsible Funds, October 9: BNP Paribas’ THEAM, Impax, EuSEF, Old Mutual, World Bank, Sycomore

The round-up of the latest responsible funds news

BNP Paribas Investment Partners’ THEAM index investment arm has received regulatory approval to distribute its Low Carbon 100 Europe THEAM Easy UCITS ETF in the UK. Launched in 2008, the exchange traded fund had previously been available in France and the Netherlands.

The European Union plans further consultation on the European Social Entrepreneurship Funds, which to date have only three participants, to try an increase the take-up. The news was announced as part of the EU’s Capital Markets Union Plan. The document, which sets out a blueprint to achieve a single market for capital across 28 EU Member States, highlights ESG bonds and says it will monitor the need for EU green bond standards.

Impax Asset Management, the environmental specialist with around £2.9bn (€3.9bn) under management, has announced that it is to launch a new fund, Impax Leaders Fund, under the company’s existing Irish UCITS umbrella structure (previously only available in the UK via the Old Mutual Global Investors Ethical Fund). Supported by a 14 strong equity research team the fund will be managed by Hubert Aarts, Managing Director Listed Equities, Senior Portfolio Manager Global Equities. The fund is part of the Impax Leaders Strategy – a long-only, all-cap global equity strategy investing in Resource Efficiency and Environmental Markets. Link

Old Mutual Global Investors is handing the management of its £77m Ethical fund to its UK-based investment manager Quilter Cheviot; currently the fund is managed on an outsourced basis by Impax. Quilter Cheviot’s sustainable investment team (who will be responsible for the fund), led by Investment Directors, Claudia Quiroz and William Buckhurst, presently manage £130m across client assets and segregated mandates, it is reported.

Social Ventures Australia (SVA) has launched a venture philanthropy fund for Queensland-based social purpose organisations. The fund plans to connect philanthropists with a portfolio of high impact organisations tackling pressing social issues.

A $7m social impact bond supporting children in Utah has reportedly paid out $267,000 to investors, including Goldman Sachs. Goldman’s Urban Investment Group and Chicago investor J.B. Pritzker have committed up to $7m to help increase school readiness for at-risk 3- and 4-year olds in Utah. Future payouts depend on the number of students who avoid the use of special education each year.The World Bank has issued innovative climate notes that finance projects that reduce methane gas emissions and pay bondholders a guaranteed price of US $2.40 per ton of eligible certified emission reductions. Dubbed the Pilot Auction Facility Emission Reduction Notes, it has raised $20.9m. The notes were issued in a series of five tranches, with one tranche maturing each of the next five years. The first auction focused on methane –reduction projects at landfills, agriculture and wastewater sites in countries including Brazil and Thailand. Announcement

Bolsa de Santiago, Chile’s stock exchange and the S&P Dow Jones Indices have launched the first sustainability index in the country. The Dow Jones Sustainability Chile Index is the first of its kind in Chile using the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices’ methodology and the first to use the Santiago Exchange’s blue chip IPSA Index (Indice de Precios Selectivo de Acciones) as the underlying universe. The Dow Jones Sustainability Chile Index consists of 12 companies.

Sycomore Asset Management, the France-based fund manager, is launching an equity fund focusing on companies involved in renewable energy and the environmental transition, and which will avoid businesses that visibly destroy natural capital. Open to UK investors, the Sycomore Eco Solutions fund will be managed by Jean-Guillaume Péladan, Director of Energy and Environment Strategy.

Thornburg Investment Management, the US-based firm, has launched a new socially responsible investment fund called Thornburg Better World International Fund, targeting companies making a positive impact on the world. The fund is managed by Rolf Kelly, who was Portfolio Manager of Thornburg’s Socially Screened International Equity Strategy.

Alquity, the sustainability focused, UK-based emerging markets asset manager, is raising £500,000 for 4.48% of equity through crowd funding site, Crowdcube. As of October 8, £338,190 had been raised – with nine days left to reach its target. Link

S&P Dow Jones Indices has launched the Dow Jones Sustainability South Africa Composite Diversified Index. It is designed to measure the country’s equity markets with a tilt towards sustainability investing criteria and is part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Diversified family of indices (DJSI Diversified).