SLI creates fund for impact investors based on UN goals

Standard Life Investments has today launched its first product for impact investors as it says the area of responsible investing is becoming mainstream.

The Global Equity Impact fund will be co-managed by Sarah Norris and Dominic Byrne.

SLI has used the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to develop the impact framework for the fund meaning it invests in companies that address issues such as healthcare, education and poverty.

Norris says investors are interested in impact investing but lack products in which to add their money.

“Active management is an essential component of successful impact investing. Engagement with management is necessary, both for impact analysis and to encourage better behaviours and disclosures.”

The Sicav will be available to UK and European investors with an annual management charge of 0.75 per cent.

Aberdeen Standard Investments global head of stewardship Euan Stirling describes impact investing as “shifting the might of the capital market to change the world for the better”.

He argues asset managers have a role to play in addressing issues raised through the SDGs. There are 17 goals included in the UN initiative, which were adopted in September 2015.

The fund’s largest holdings are recycling company Umicore, pharmaceuticals company Clinigen and Mastercard, which is described by SLI as delivering financial inclusion.

North America and Europe ex-UK account for a third each of the fund’s regional allocation, while the UK and emerging markets both count for 15 per cent.

The Global Equity Impact Fund will use Aberdeen Standard Investments’ equity research capability and its dedicated ESG team.

Stirling says the fund will still aim for an above-market financial return.