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M&G launches sustainable PruFund range on platform

M&G launches sustainable PruFund range on platform
M&G Wealth’s chief investment officer, Shanti Kelemen

M&G has launched the sustainable PruFund range ‘PruFund Planet’ on its rebranded Ascentric platform, meaning advisers can access the funds via a platform rather than product wrappers for the first time in the UK.

Until now, advisers have predominantly accessed PruFund via the investment manager’s ‘Retirement Account’.

Bringing five of the funds to the platform allows advisers to access them via Isa and Sipp wrappers. 

The advised-only multi-asset fund range includes both PruFund and its sustainable version, PruFund Planet, which is coming up on a full year of performance.

The sustainable version gives clients access the same “smoothed returns” and risk profile as the PruFund.

The PruFund range has some £58bn invested in total by more than 450,000 customers.

The launch today (July 4) makes this the first time the PruFund Planet range has been an investment option for an Isa.

The cumulative performance of PruFund Planet’s five funds over the past six months has been notably better than M&G’s other sustainable funds.

Performance ranged from 1.3 per cent to -2.2 per cent over this period, according to FE FundInfo data. This was compared to the -10 and -15 per cent performance of funds such as M&G Sustainable Multi-Asset Balanced and Royal London Sustainable Leaders, respectively.

But last year, PruFund suffered £1.4bn in outflows which M&G put down to “competitive pressures” and pandemic-related restrictions on face-to-face advice.

M&G Wealth’s chief investment officer, Shanti Kelemen, said in volatile markets the smoothing mechanism the company applies in all its PruFunds becomes more desirable and valuable.

“PruFund Planet is the only ESG and smoothed investment range available on any platform in the UK,” she explained.“It offers easily accessible and planet-friendly wealth solutions with the prospect of competitive medium to long-term returns.”

LV also offers a smoothed fund range which it has been using to boost with-profit membership in recent years.

The M&G Wealth Platform, formerly Ascentric, houses some £17.5bn assets under administration managed by around 2,000 advice firms.

The addition of PruFund Planet is part of an ongoing programme of enhancements to the platform which M&G said will continue into 2023.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com