T. Rowe Price has launched a range of five ESG equity funds, based on its existing equity portfolios with an added exclusion list overlay, and focused on sustainable investing.
The US asset manager said the five products would be socially responsible investment funds, offering investors the opportunity to align their investments with their values.
The new range of funds includes: Sustainable Global Focused Growth Equity, Sustainable Global Growth Equity, Sustainable US Large Cap Growth Equity, Sustainable Asia ex-Japan Equity and Sustainable Emerging Markets Equity funds.
T. Rowe Price’s actively monitored conduct-based component of the exclusion list ensures the avoidance of investing in companies that have had an extreme environmental, social, ethical or governance breach."
The company's socially responsible investment (SRI) classified funds, which are based on five long-established T. Rowe Price portfolios, offer investors an opportunity to align their investments with their values.
The range imposes values-based parameters to existing portfolios, via an overlay of a proprietary exclusion list, while maintaining the same investment processes and objectives as the core strategies.
ESG analysis is already embedded into the investment process of the original T. Rowe Price strategies, with the investment teams actively engaging with companies on ESG issues. The teams also utilise T. Rowe Price's proprietary Responsible Investing Indicator Model (RIIM) to further integrate ESG considerations into fundamental research and investment decisions.
Maria Elena Drew, director of research, responsible investing at T Rowe Price, says the launch of the sustainable equity funds adds yet another pillar to the group's ESG capabilities.
"These funds will incorporate the ESG research capabilities that are already integrated across the firm's research platform, as well as safeguard that certain types of securities will not be held in the portfolio," Drew said.
"The new funds range offers clients access to portfolios that exclude specific companies whose business activities involve controversial weapons, assault-style weapons for civilian use, the production of tobacco, the production of thermal coal and adult entertainment."
"In addition to this, T. Rowe Price's actively monitored conduct-based component of the exclusion list ensures the avoidance of investing in companies that have had an extreme environmental, social, ethical or governance breach and are not taking credible steps to remediate the issue."
The company said registration of the Select Investment Series III SICAV is in progress across select European countries and the UK.