RathboneJun 11 2018

Rathbone to launch Global Sustainability fund

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Rathbone to launch Global Sustainability fund

Rathbone Unit Trust Management will launch a Global Sustainability fund in July, subject to FCA regulatory approval.

The investment vehicle's objective will be to provide a total return in excess of the FTSE World index, over a minimum of five years, from a portfolio of global equities that meet the fund's sustainability criteria.

This means the fund will invest in companies whose activities or ways of operating are aligned with sustainable development and support the achievements of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Mike Webb, chief executive of Rathbone Unit Trust Management, said: "The launch of the Rathbone Global Sustainability fund was the next logical step for us, building on the success and strong growth of the Rathbone Ethical Bond fund.

"There is a growing cohort of clients who want to make a positive impact with their investments, and the launch of this equity fund will help meet this demand."

The fund will actively engage with companies to encourage positive change and will also avoid businesses engaged in unethical or unsustainable practices.

Fund manager, David Harrison, will be supported by the broader equity team and will work closely with Rathbone Greenbank Investments, the investment house's dedicated ethical and sustainable investment division.

The multi-cap fund, which will typically invest in 30 to 50 securities, intends to follow a similar investment process as Rathbones' income team, led by Carl Stick, through its focus on companies with high levels of cash-generation.

While there is no income target for the fund, Mr Webb said the investment approach is likely to produce a level of income.

The fund, which has a minimum investment of £1,000, comes in two share classes.

The I-Class has an ongoing charges figure (OCF) of 0.9 per cent and is available from platforms, while the S-Class has an OCF of 0.65 per cent and is available at Rathbones' discretion.

Subject to agreement, the fund will sit in the Investment Association's global sector.

Alan Chan, director and chartered financial planner for London-based IFS Wealth & Pensions, said: "This is an interesting development and we welcome the new Global Sustainability fund.

"We have a large number of clients who primarily invest in ethical or socially responsible investments and this would help promote greater choice and competition in this market. 

"As with any new fund, we wouldn't jump straight into it and would need to do a bit more due diligence on its processes and see a solid track record first."