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Close Brothers enters ESG space

Close Brothers enters ESG space

Close Brothers Asset Management has entered the environmental, social and governance investments sector with a double fund launch.

The fund house announced today (November 3) it has launched two sustainable funds following increased demand from clients and advisers for portfolios with a focus on ESG and sustainable investment strategies.

Although CBAM already provides sustainable screening on other products and a socially responsible investment service, this is the asset manager’s first ESG fund launch.

The sustainable funds will screen out unethical practices while focusing on investment opportunities with positive ESG and sustainable records.

The Close Sustainable Balanced Portfolio fund, managed by head of funds Riitta Hujanen and investment manager Richard Stroud, will invest in shares, bonds, alternatives, ETFs and third party funds. Its annual fee is 0.89 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Close Sustainable Bond Portfolio fund — a relaunch of the Close Bond Income Portfolio fund — will cost 0.45 per cent a year and be managed by investment director Andrew Metcalf and investment manager Eran Hasson.

The fund will invest in bonds, third party funds, and other fixed income securities.

ESG investing has boomed in popularity in recent years as fears over climate change have led investors to consider the impact of their money and as a growing number of millennials have begun investing.

Recent data from Morningstar showed global assets in sustainable funds hit £930bn in the third quarter of 2020, a record high, after investors pumped £62bn into such funds in the three months to September.

Fund houses have been quick to capitalise on the growing interest with numerous fund launches.

Just yesterday, AJ Bell launched a sustainable fund as 7IM cut the fees for its ESG portfolio.

Martin Andrew, chief executive of Close Brothers Asset Management, said: “Investors and clients are becoming more aware of how their money can affect the world around them and increasingly want to invest in ways that reflect their concern and respect for the natural environment, for human dignity and for responsible corporate behaviour.  

“We are launching these new funds to meet this demand.”

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