RI fund launches: Schroders mulls forestry/agriculture – Investec – Goldman – Natixis

The newest fund launches on responsible investment themes.

Schroders, the UK fund manager is mulling the launch of a fund to invest in forestry and agriculture. The potential move comes as a growing number of fund managers position themselves to launch environmental and RI themed products.
Alan Brown, chief investment officer at Schroders, said a launch decision had not yet been taken, but that the manager was “thinking” abut the agriculture theme. Coming up to the first anniversary of Schroders Global Climate Change Fund, Brown said the fund had taken in $450m (€290m), despite hoping for more. He said the fund manager was satisfied with the in-flows considering the difficult equity sales environment. He estimated that the fund was up by as much as 10% against its benchmark, owing to an avoidance of financial stocks because of its climate change theme.
Schroders has also today (June 20) issued its latest CSR report, which outlines new key governance and environmental performance indicators, including an assessment of the carbon emissions of travel by investment staff.
Investec Asset Management has partnered with Jadwa Investment, a Shariah-compliant investment provider in Saudi Arabia, which will see Investec managing the Jadwa Africa Equity Freestyle Fund.The fund is the first Shariah-compliant Africa fund offered by any institution in the region and will invest in listed companies across the continent.
Hendrik du Toit, chief executive officer of Investec Asset Management, said: “This partnership is exciting to us on several levels. Not only is it endorsement of our leadership in investing in frontier markets, particularly in Africa, but it fits into our broader strategy over the longer term to introduce more specialist Shariah-compliant products to our clients.”
Goldman Sachs Asset Management is also reportedly developing a new sustainable fund to sell to European and US clients. Goldman already runs sustainability themes in a fund sold via its Australian subsidiary Goldman Sachs JBWere. It also has a highly respected SRI and sustainable research team within the parent investment banking group.
Natixis Alternative Investments International (NAII) has launched its second carbon fund, the European Kyoto Fund (EKF), successor to its European Carbon Fund (ECF). EKF is a 5½ year closed-ended Luxembourg-registered fund that invests in carbon and carbon-related assets with a target net return of 15% per annum and a target size of €500m.