Union Bancaire Privée today announced the launch of its Positive Impact Emerging Equity fund, intended to generate a measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return by investing in listed companies in emerging markets.
The portfolio will consist of 35-45 high-conviction emerging market stocks across six themes mapped to the UN Sustainable Development Goals: basic needs, health and well-being, inclusive and fair economies, healthy ecosystems, climate stability and sustainable communities.
Emphasis will be placed on innovative companies with strong growth potential that are looking to drive positive change. Initial investments will include companies involved in renewable energy and energy storage, transport disruption, life/health insurance innovation and microfinance.
We believe that companies helping to solve the acute challenges faced by society and the planet are ideally positioned for steady growth over the coming decades.”
The fund will be co-managed by Mathieu Nègre (head of emerging equities) and Eli Koen (emerging equities portfolio manager). They will be supported by two analysts and Simon Pickard, who has joined UBP as a consultant to the bank's impact franchise after a distinguished career as an emerging market investor.
When selecting stocks, they will use UBP's proprietary IMAP scoring methodology, which judges the impact intensity of each stock and assigns it a score out of 20; a score of 12 is the minimum threshold for acceptance into the portfolio and watchlist.
As well as strengthening its impact product range and to ensure that UBP's approach meets the most stringent impact criteria, the Bank has formalised its governance arrangements in this area by setting up two dedicated entities, the Impact Advisory Board and the Impact Investment Committee.
The Impact Advisory Board's external sustainability experts are confirmed as Jake Reynolds, executive director, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL); Kanini Mutooni, MD of Europe, Middle East and Africa for Toniic, the global action network for impact investors; and Tony Juniper, Chair of Natural England, the UK government's official nature conservation agency, and a campaigner, writer and sustainability adviser as well as executive director for Advocacy and Campaigns for WWF-UK.
Nicolas Faller, joint CEO of asset management at UBP, said: "In the midst of the ongoing public health crisis, which is having such devastating outcomes, the long-term importance of impact investing is now even clearer, since it is one of the ways we can address areas in which we are currently falling short of our social goals."
"This latest launch and the strong impact governance we now have in place underline our continued commitment to responsible investment. We believe that companies helping to solve the acute challenges faced by society and the planet are ideally positioned for steady growth over the coming decades."