Architas plans to launch socially responsible fund

Architas plans to launch socially responsible fund

Architas is planning to create a socially responsible investment (SRI) multi-asset fund later this year. 

Frank Potaczek, head of distribution for Architas, said there was "enormous appetite" for a fund of funds-style portfolio blending the best of the SRI, impact and ethically-managed funds available to UK investors. 

According to Mr Potaczek, the fund would be a relatively concentrated portfolio of between 20 to 30 underlying holdings and globally diversified. 

He said: "The challenge for us to is to get it right for everyone."

He added the fund would likely have a moderate risk profile of between four and six and target a total return for investors.

The fund would also potentially be a mixture of active and passive funds to keep costs down and to maximise potential total return, he added. 

Mr Potaczek said: "It won't be benchmarked against the FTSE4Good but I would expect it would be benchmarked against a bespoke, composite benchmark. 

"What we care about is delivering the returns and minimising the risk to retail investors.

"One objection to SRI in the past is that [such funds] won't make as much money as if someone had bought everything - lethal defence, tobacco and so forth - but we now have plenty of statistical evidence and research that this is not the case. 

"There is a high focus now on governance and environmental and social responsibility and investing in companies with proven sustainability provides a high value for money factor.

"How we engage as a society will change and investments will have to reflect that."

He said he would like the portfolio to be given the go-ahead by Good Money Week 2018, or at least by the fourth quarter of this year.

Mr Potaczek said he has already been gauging sentiment for such a product among UK asset managers and professional investors.

The minimum initial investment is likely to be £500, with the potential for £50 monthly regular savings into the portfolio, so it could be put into an Isa.

Mr Potaczek said: "I want to create a 'tuck-away' fund, something that delivers value and sustainability.

"Something that my sons could buy into within their Junior Isa, and they can point at it and say 'My Dad did this'."

This comes as S&P Global Ratings has put together a cross-national global sustainable finance team.

The new team will comprise analysts who cover environmental, social and governance (ESG) analytics and research.

They will also provide insight into sustainable infrastructure trends worldwide, and the S&P Global Ratings Green Evaluation – an asset-level environmental credential evaluation metric, which was launched in early 2017.

Gavin Haynes, managing director for Whitechurch Securities, said: "This is something we have done ourselves as it has been a real growth area for our discretionary fund management service.

"Obviously, SRI can be subjective so one has to draw the line somewhere if one is going to launch a model solution, but we have seen quite a lot of interest in this area and uptake from clients."