Who is managing the fund?
Fund Manager, David Harrison has more than 18 years’ experience in equity analysis and fund management. He has worked at a number of firms including Hermes Investment Management where he was portfolio manager for a European small-mid cap strategy and was actively involved in the integration of ESG analysis. Also Merrill Lynch, portfolio manager for an Environmental Social Governance (ESG) global equity mandate. Marry this with Rathbones’ established record of global equity investment and strong credentials in ethical investing/screening from Rathbone Greenbank Investments and you get a very compelling proposition.
“The top priority for most long-term investors is to grow capital for the future. This is my responsibility as a fund manager and steward of your clients’ investments. However, what if our ambitions can be even broader? You can aim to not only invest profitably over the years, but to do so in a way that minimises costs to the planet and society. I believe we can succeed in both these goals.
What led you to launch a sustainability fund now?
The launch of the fund was the next logical step for Rathbones, building on the success and strong growth of the Rathbone Ethical Bond Fund. There is a growing cohort of clients who want to make a positive impact with their investments, and the launch of this equity fund will help meet this demand.
A high-conviction fund, it combines ethical exclusions with a thematic focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and a high level of corporate governance.
“To us sustainable investing is based upon three fundamental principles…
- We look for businesses that have a durable franchise. We spend a lot of time trying to judge how strong the business really is and how it is perceived by the market.
- Secondly we invest in companies that deliver a tangible environmental or social impact. We incorporate the Goals into our investment framework to help measure how significant any company’s impact may be.
- Lastly, we avoid unsustainable industries and businesses with weak governance. We don’t invest in industries that cause fundamental harm to the environment and society but this does not overly restrict us, or we believe impact investment returns.
Companies that demonstrate a tangible commitment to managing their business in a responsible manner, are effectively strengthening their ‘economic moat’, which is important for long term value creation.
Tell us a bit about Rathbone Greenbank’s analysis?
Rathbone Greenbank’s ethical research team has over 20 years’ experience in assessing the social, environmental and ethical performance of companies.
The fund has a detailed set of exclusion criteria which consider not only what a company does, but also how it operates.
After this initial screen they then look for companies that are benefitting people and the planet, either through responsible behaviour or the products and services they provide.
It is important it is to be able to tell “greenwash” apart from a genuine commitment to sustainability, so you and your clients can expect openness and transparency about the fund’s process and holdings.
Stewardship and engagement is key
Rathbones’ funds business is a Stewardship Code signatory and takes its responsibilities in this area seriously.
Suitability for inclusion in the fund isn’t a one-off event, but something monitored continuously over time throughout the entire investment life-cycle.
Rathbones will support shareholder resolutions calling for better sustainability reporting as standard and will also back any call for companies to better manage climate risk for example.
“The fund is a natural extension of our significant investment heritage in the ethical and sustainable space. It is built on a robust investment process, focused on owning high quality companies with a clear commitment to sustainability and can look anywhere in the world for the best ideas.
The fund gives investors the ability to create long-term value, whilst delivering a positive environmental and social impact.”
This is a financial promotion relating to a particular fund. Any views and opinions are those of the investment manager, and coverage of any assets held must be taken in context of the constitution of the fund and in no way reflect an investment recommendation. Past performance should not be seen as an indication of future performance. The value of investments may go down as well as up and you may not get back your original investment.