TIAA-CREF’s Nuveen launches two European UCITS ESG strategies for non-US investors

Dublin listing gives European investors access to TIAA-CREF

Nuveen Investments, the $230bn asset manager acquired by US financial services giant TIAACREF just over a year ago, has launched two environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies for non-US investors via a UCITS structure – making it the first time European investors will have access to TIAACREF.

The new offerings will be a global equity ESG strategy and a US bond ESG strategy. TIAACREF Asset Management’s Teachers Advisors will be sub-advisor and the strategies will be offered via Nuveen Global Investors Fund plc through a UCITS structure listed in Dublin.

The TIAA Global Equity ESG strategy will favour companies that demonstrate ESG leadership “including impact on stakeholders such as employees, communities, customers, suppliers and the environment”.

The fixed income offering, the TIAA US Bond ESG strategy, will invest in a broad range of investment grade bonds and fixed income securities including US government securities, corporate bonds, municipal securities and mortgage-backed or other asset backed-securities, subject to ESG criteria. “Additionally, the strategy invests a portion of its assets in fixed-income instruments that reflect proactive social investments,” the firm says. An emerging markets debt strategy is also being launched.The collaboration is the first joint product release by Nuveen and TIAACREF and officials say it lays the groundwork for Nuveen to offer additional TIAACREF strategies in the future. Amy O’Brien, Head of TIAACREF’s Responsible Investment team, said the launch was a “compelling opportunity” to further serve individual clients and select institutional investors outside the US.

New York-based TIAACREF has been scaling up its ESG activities of late. In August, it rolled out two new sustainable mutual funds – one for international equities and one that selects US firms with low carbon emissions. And it is among the major institutional backers of a new US clean energy ‘aligned intermediary’ that is set to be launched.

Staying in Ireland, the European Investment Bank is evaluating a €13m investment in the Irish Sustainable Forests Fund from SLM Partners. The fund will invest in forest assets in Ireland with the aim of transforming clearfell plantations to more sustainable continuous cover forestry.
SLM was co-founded by Justin Mundy, the Director of The Prince’s Charities’ International Sustainability Unit and is headed by former Climate Change Capital Vice President Paul McMahon.