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Responsible Funds, Sept. 20: Calvert drops New Amsterdam from sub-advisory role

The round-up of responsible funds news

Calvert Investment Management has announced the removal of New Amsterdam Partners, the new York-based firm headed up by US SIF Board Member Michelle Clayman, as subadvisor for the $580.01m (€429.6m) Calvert Balanced Portfolio. Calvert’s Chief Investment Officer – Equities, Natalie Trunow, takes control of the equity portion previously managed by New Amsterdam, it said in a filing. Eugene Profit, the head of Profit Investment Management and former Washington Redskins and the New England Patriots cornerback, remains subadvisor. The fund is an actively managed portfolio of stocks, bonds, and money market instruments that aims to satisfy financial, sustainability and social responsibility criteria. New Amsterdam had sub-advised the fund since 2004.

Jupiter Climate Change Solutions, the €5m fund run by Charlie Thomas, has returned 15.6% in the year to the end of August. This compares to an 11.8% return for the FTSE World Index and 25.9% for the FTSE ET 100 Index. The fund invests globally in companies “responding positively to the challenge of environmental sustainability and climate change”.

Wespath’s $8.39bn balanced fund —the Multiple Asset Fund – returned 7.42% in the year to the end of August (net of fees), compared to a blended benchmark return of 6.46%. It has returned 12.06% over the one-year horizon. All told, Wespath, the investment management unit of the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church, now manages $19.2bn. Link

German sustainable asset manager Ökoworld says its €15.7m “Growing Markets 2.0” fund has outperformed its benchmark (MSCI Emerging Markets), by 12% since inception on September 17, 2012. The fund’s biggest holdings include Spanish wind turbine maker Gamesa, Taiwanese contact lens maker St. Shine Optical, UK short-term credit firm International Personal Finance and Brazilian for-profit education firm Kroton. The minimum investment for institutions is €5m.The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) has responded to comments reportedly made by Fundsmith head Terry Smith, a well-known commentator, regarding poor performance of ethical funds made at an Institute of Directors event. The reported comments were “ill-informed and naïve,” said UKSIF Chief Executive Simon Howard. He pointed to a recent report from moneyfacts.co.uk showing ethical funds up 36% on average over three years compared with 31% for the average non-ethical fund. Fundsmith’s own £1.5bn fund aims to be a “long-term investor in its chosen stocks” and hold between 20-30 stocks.

The $184.3m Aberdeen Global – Responsible World Equity Fund has reported a 10.37% return for the year to the end of August, against a benchmark (MSCI World) return of 18.31%. The fund aims for a long-term total return by investing in equities selected on the basis of fundamental company analysis together with environmental, social and governance criteria.

The Vontobel Clean Technology fund, which invests in companies offering technologies and solutions to mitigate climate change and reduce pollution, returned 9.3% in the year to the end of August. The €22.8m fund is run by Pascal Dudle in Zürich.

Five companies will be removed from the NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index after a review. They are American Superconductor Corp.; EMCORE Corp.; ESCO Technologies; KiOR; and Suntech Power. There are 12 additions: Aixtron; Ameresco; Capstone Turbine Corporation; Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital; ITC Holdings; JA Solar; JinkoSolar; PowerSecure International; Rubicon Technology; Revolution Lighting Technologies; SolarCity; and Silver Spring Networks.