Zurich-based asset manager RobecoSAM has launched a sustainable impact fund, Citywire Switzerland can reveal.
The RobecoSAM Global Sustainable Impact Equities invests in a portfolio of listed companies which have products and services contributing to the UN sustainable development goals.
The fund's portfolio managers are RobecoSAM's head of investment management, Rainer Baumann, and senior quantitative analyst Ruben Feldman.
Meanwhile, Jacob Messina, who is head of SI research, will be in charge of the research that defines the sustainable development goals universe.
Baumann, who joined RobecoSAM in 2002, is responsible for the firm’s actively-managed funds, while Feldman, who joined in February 2017, is the former head of global index concepts at Stoxx (Zurich).
Speaking to Citywire Switzerland, RobecoSAM's CEO Aris Prepoudis said current market conditions are right for the new launch, as the sustainable development goals (SDGs) significantly increase the role of business and finance in advancing social, economic and human development.
'According to the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, the achievement of the SDGs will require a flow of $5-7 trillion-per-year until 2030 into relevant solution providers – most of which will need to stem from private finance. ‘
The starting investment universe of the fund consists of 5,000 global stocks, which are then assessed and rated according to the degree to which they support the sustainable development goals.
This is done using the percentage of sales for each business segment, geographic distribution, and an evaluation of the extent to which the company’s products or services create impact.
Companies with a measurable and significant impact on one or multiple sustainable development goals are selected for inclusion in the SDG universe of approximately 1,000 stocks.
RobecoSAM equity and SI analysts then implement an investment approach based on sustainability, profitability, quality and valuation to select the final stocks.
They also use risk/return profile optimisation techniques on the remaining stocks to determine a final portfolio of approximately 60-80 stocks.
‘The RobecoSAM Global Sustainable Impact Equites fund provides a high conviction impact portfolio and aims to outperform broad equity markets by 2-4% (annualised) over a full market cycle,’ Baumann said.