ESG Investing  

Liontrust launches first trust with £150m sustainable fund

Liontrust launches first trust with £150m sustainable fund

Liontrust is launching its first investment trust - an ESG fund which will launch with a £150m initial public offering

The trust - simply called Liontrust ESG - will invest in 25 to 35 companies around the world that it deems sustainable, predominantly in developed markets.

The fund house said the closed-ended nature of the fund would allow the investment managers to invest in smaller cap stocks, as there would be less concern over short-term volatility.

The trust’s portfolio will be managed by Peter Michaelis, Simon Clements and Chris Foster, currently part of Liontrust’s sustainable investment team.

Research conducted for Liontrust by Research in Finance in December last year showed 78 per cent of wealth managers and 71 per cent of financial advisers have seen an increasing proportion of their clients seeking sustainable investments.

The trust will be managed using Liontrust’s ‘sustainable future’ investment process, which the firm says identifies companies “helping to create a cleaner, safer and healthier world”.

Current trends in this sector that the trust will focus on include better resource efficiency, greater safety and resilience and improved health.

Michaelis said: “We are excited by the opportunities that ESGT offers in being able to construct a high conviction portfolio with companies from across the market cap spectrum and our sustainable investment themes.   

"Key attractions include the wide opportunity set it provides as it is unconstrained by market capitalisation, a concentrated portfolio focused on the highest sustainability companies and the chance to invest a portion of the portfolio in small cap companies that we do not hold in our open-ended funds.

"These stocks fit perfectly with our focus on the long-term drivers of the sustainable economy of the future."

Michaelis said up to 10 per cent of the management fee Liontrust receives from ESGT would be used to fund research to identify and develop financial instruments covering those UN Sustainable Development Goals that are currently uninvestable.

John Ions, chief executive of Liontrust, added: “The intention to launch ESGT recognises the growing demand for sustainable investment as an increasing number of people want their investments to make positive contributions to society, the environment and the economy."

The trust will be chaired by Richard Laing, the chairman of 3i Infrastructure.

sally.hickey@ft.com