Credit Suisse and Lombard Odier have jointly launched a fund with a focus on responsible consumption. The new strategy invests in companies that can benefit from the changes resulting from the transition to a more sustainable world economy.
Consumer behaviour is changing. Consumers, especially millennials, are increasingly questioning how we produce, use and dispose of goods and services. This affects both business models and ecosystems and supply chains of companies, which in turn creates opportunities for investors.
The Credit Suisse Responsible Consumer fund invests in responsible companies that respond to this profound change in consumer behaviour and preferences and therefore have the potential to outperform over the long term.
The fund is an investment opportunity that incorporates the trends and insights described in the recent publication "The Responsible Consumer". The Bank is thus taking another step towards expanding its sustainable equipment portfolio.
Marisa Drew, CEO of Credit Suisse's Impact Advisory and Finance Department (IAF), said: "This fund is designed for investors who want to tailor their investments to the issues they care about, and perhaps their consumption decisions. It should also be attractive to those investors who see real value added potential in companies that have adjusted to changing consumer sentiment and are therefore likely to gain market share."
The strategy is focused on supporting the visible shift in consumer and manufacturer behaviour by investing in business models that enable or contribute to the creation of sustainable products and services. The launch occurs at a time when there is a clear investment case - on the one hand due to efforts in the private sector to use capital for a good cause, and on the other due to the government and regulatory support. One of the most recent examples of this is Canada, which has announced that it will ban disposable plastic from 2021 onwards.
Following a due diligence of more than a dozen suppliers, Lombard Odier was selected as a consultant for his expertise in thematic and sustainable investments.
The fund invests in listed companies in the areas of sustainable food, urban systems, supply chains and sustainable lifestyles, integrating the aspect of sustainability along the entire value chain, taking into account companies at all points in the product life cycle. This diversifies sector risk for investors.
The investment decisions will be based on the 12th United Nations Sustainable Development Goal, "Responsible Consumption and Production". Fund reporting will go beyond pure return metrics and include complex environmental, social and governance metrics, such as the carbon footprint and water balance, and other sustainability information. In addition, the fund is developing a commitment strategy to support a faster transition of companies to sustainable consumption habits and production processes.
A senior advisory board of experienced internal and external experts in both sustainability and ESG and asset management contributes to the design and positioning of the fund. It will also ensure that the fund remains at the forefront of developments in this area.
The Ucits fund will be launched on 25 November 2019, with a three-week subscription period from 4 November 2019. It is available in US Dollars, Euros, Swiss Francs and British Pounds and offers institutional, retail and seeding asset classes.