Aberdeen Standard Investments has added to its environmental, social and governance offering by launching a sustainable and responsible emerging markets portfolio.
ASI announced this week (July 7) it had launched the Emerging Markets Sustainable and Responsible Investment Equity fund in a bid to generate strong long-term performance for those seeking to improve ESG practices.
According to ASI, the fund’s holdings have a better ESG metric than sector peers and a lower carbon footprint than the index.
Managers will identify “high quality companies through a bottom-up assessment” of the sustainability of their business models and ESG performance, and all holdings will be given an ESG score after “in-depth research”.
ASI said the launch was part of its ongoing strategy for sustainable development and the first of two responsible investment strategies launched by the emerging markets team this year.
Fiona Manning, investment director at ASI, said: “We have a long history in emerging markets investment and ESG considerations have been incorporated in our stock analysis and decision-making for over 25 years.
“By analysing the foundations of the business and a thorough evaluation of the ESG risks and opportunities, we have identified companies which we believe to be sustainable leaders or improvers.”
Alex Hoctor-Duncan, global sales director at ASI, said the goal of the fund was to “make a difference” for clients, society and the wider world.
He added: “We have a duty to act as engaged and active shareholders, influencing companies to the benefit of long-term returns for our clients, as well as it being the right thing to do.
“Fully embedding ESG into stock analysis and understanding ESG risks and opportunities alongside other financial metrics enables us to deliver a truly differentiated and industry-leading ESG analysis and engagement.”
Tom Sparke, investment manager at GDIM, said the fund was a “welcome addition” to emerging markets, which was an under-served space for ESG.
He said demand for fully ESG-compatible portfolios was still on the rise so any investor who wanted to add emerging markets would look at the new fund.
Mr Sparke added: “It seems as though ASI have a robust methodology to determine the criteria that they are looking for in a company so I would expect this to be a success.”
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