Rathbones is planning to launch the Rathbone Global Sustainability fund in July, subject to FCA regulatory approval.
The fund’s objective is to provide a total return in excess of the FTSE World index, over the long term – 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. 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, Rathbones’ ethical and sustainable investment division.
Rathbone Greenbank Investments will also provide the screening for the £1.2bn Rathbone Ethical Bond fund.
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 fundamentally strong companies with high levels of cash generation.
While there is no income target for the fund, its investment approach is likely to produce a level of income.
Subject to agreement, the fund will sit in the Investment Association’s Global sector.
Two share classes will be available at launch; the I-Class available via platforms, while the S-Class will be at Rathbones’ discretion.
Mr Harrison joined Rathbones in 2014, having worked as a portfolio manager at a number of firms including Hermes Investment Management and Merrill Lynch Portfolio Managers, where he focused on investing in companies engaged in positive environmental, social or governance impacts.
Mike Webb, chief executive at 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.”
Matthew Coppin, manager financial advice at Castle Advisory Partners, said: “Rathbones have other sustainable or ethically based products which are high quality and run well by its manager Bryn Jones. Having another offering being delivered by the same investment/screening process is good to see.
“Looking at the predicted costs of the fund, the I-class comes in on an average level for a global sustainable equity fund. Especially for a new launch this is good to see as straight away costs are competitive.
"This sometimes does not happen as costs initially are more for a smaller fund and are expected to reduce over time as inflows increase.