SEB merges away Nordic equity funds

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Nordics group SEB has unveiled plans to dissolve the SEB Fund 2 – SEB Nordic Focus fund into the SEB Fund 1 – SEB Nordic fund on 21 September 2018, InvestmentEurope has learned.

Through the fund merger, the company aims to achieve synergies and a more efficient portfolio management.

In a letter to shareholders, SEB said that investors’ interest in the SEB Nordic Focus fund has dwindled in the past year with assets remaining in a €45m to 50m range (AUM of the fund amounted to €56.62m as of 31 July 2018).

Moreover SEB considered “the relatively small investment universe” that is the Nordic market and the fact that the funds to be merged have similar strategies therefore the company sees £no compelling reason to retain both of them.”

“The merger is also in line with the management company’s ongoing efforts to modernise and streamline our selection of funds,” stated SEB.

In addition, the SEB Fund 1 – SEB Nordic fund will adopt a sustainable strategy as from 21 September, thus becoming the SEB Fund 1 – SEB Sustainability Nordic fund. The revamp of the strategy has been driven by client demand argued SEB.

The fund will use both positive and negative screening to apply SEB’s ethical and sustainability principles.

Therefore it will not invest in companies that produce or sell weapons that breach international conventions regarding weapons. Neither will it take stakes in companies involved in the development of nuclear weapon programmes or production of nuclear weapons.

Also the fund will put aside companies whose turnover comes at more than 5%  from the production of alcoholic beverages and/or tobacco products, the production and/or active distribution of pornography, the production and/or sales of weapons or from commercial gambling.

Companies having breached international norms regarding labour legislation, anti-corruption, the environment and human rights will not be invested. Other exclusions set include coal, gas and oil exploration/extraction.

The SEB Fund 1 – SEB Nordic fund is run by lead portfolio manager Tommi Saukkoriipi in Stockholm and had some €196.5m in assets under management as of end July 2018.