Ethius Invest is going to launch its Ethius Global Impact fund as a Ucits strategy in March 2021, the firm told Citywire Switzerland.
It is a German fund and will be registered for public distribution in Switzerland in mid-December and in Germany imminently. MRB Vermögensverwaltung and Universal Investment are Ethius’ partners for the fund.
The fund’s investment methodology is shaped by the Global Challenges Index, which has an annualised return of 9.6% over its 13 years of existence. It invests in 19 industrialised companies, with a focus on the G7.
The fund’s selection process incorporates social and ecological criteria, and it pursues an active philosophy to impact its holdings’ policies as an impact investor.
The company uses non-financial data to see if its investments are making a substantial contribution to dealing with the global challenges highlighted in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Its investment process has three key steps.
First, exclusion criteria ensure that certain industries, as well as specific companies whose activities lead to extreme environmental and social damage, are excluded, such as tobacco and nuclear weapons.
Second, positive selection criteria are applied to companies that demonstrate a measurable contribution to the transition to a sustainable economy. This factors in economic criteria, such as long-term investment strategies, ecological criteria, such as resource productivity and use of renewable resources and the circular economy, and social criteria, such as development of human capital, social capital and cultural capital.
And lastly, the remaining companies are checked to see if they meet internal standards, with a qualitative assessment of the impact with special attention to the transformation performance and the review of the minimum standards of the market capitalisation of the company.
Holdings include Swiss Re, Tarkett, Union Pacific Corporation and Ormatt Technologies.
It draws up strengths and weaknesses for each holding, as shown in a presentation available to investors.
For example, Swiss Re’s positives include appropriate integration of ecological and social criteria into equity investments, a good range of insurance products for low income customers and research and product development in areas of high social and ecological importance.
Its negatives are no guideline for responsible marketing and transparent contract drafting, and not having clear enough measures to ensure responsible sales methods.
The company’s partner, Julius van Sambeck (pictured), previously spoke to Citywire Switzerland about his stock-picking ‘Warren machine’.
Ethius was founded in 2019, and has offices in Wollerau, Zurich and Lucerne.