Investments  

Triple launch for ethical specialist Alquity

Ethical investment boutique Alquity is targeting a major push into the UK this week with a triple fund launch across multiple platforms.

The group has run an African equity fund for three years, backed primarily by Asian and South American investors.

Now it is seeking to hit the mainstream in the UK with new funds run by big-name hires Mike Sell from F&C Investments and former Barings head of global emerging market equities Roberto Lampl.

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Mr Sell, who joined from F&C in January, will run the Alquity Indian Subcontinent and Alquity Asia funds. Mr Lampl also joined the group in January and will run the Alquity Latin America fund. All three funds will launch on April 2.

Chief executive and founder Paul Robinson said: “We’ve spent three years proving that the process works, and we feel that we have done that and can take it to other markets.”

On top of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) and corporate social responsibility factors involved in the funds’ investment processes, Alquity also donates 25 per cent of all revenues from fund management fees to micro-financing projects in the regions it invests in.

“We’re looking to help people who are poor just because of where they were born,” Mr Robinson said. “It is very hard for them to lift themselves out, but if they get money then the first thing they do is go out and buy a mobile phone, or go to a shopping centre – and we own companies in these spaces.”

Mr Lampl said his fund was likely to be similar to portfolios he ran at ING, including his successful ING Invest Latin America fund, which gained 249.2 per cent in the five years until his departure in 2010, according to FE Analytics.

He said: “We’re going to have a very low turnover and at most 15 per cent invested in the benchmark. There will be more in medium-sized companies that we think can double or triple in the next few years – the big companies have grown up already.”

As well as equities, Mr Lampl said the fund would hold selected fixed income securities if they were sufficiently attractive.

Mr Sell’s products will reflect his specialism in companies based in India and the Indian sub-continent, which includes Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The three funds have ongoing charges of 1.1 per cent on their sterling ‘R’ share classes. They will also charge a 15 per cent performance fee with a hurdle rate of 3 per cent above 12-month Libor.

The products are Luxembourg-based Ucits-compliant funds, and will be available on a number of advised and direct platforms including Skandia, Cofunds, Transact and Axa Elevate.

Alquity was founded by Mr Robinson in 2010. In his earlier career he held marketing roles at Standard Life Investments and Skandia.

A new approach to ethical investing?

Alquity will be going up against established ethical fund management offerings such as Ecclesiastical’s Amity range and ethical funds offered by Kames, Aberdeen and Standard Life.