Ausbil Investment Management have launched a fund specifically designed to meet the growing demand for sustainable investments. The Ausbil Active Sustainable Equity Fund invests in companies which have sound sustainability profiles while avoiding companies that are vulnerable to earnings risk due to sustainability weaknesses.
The fund will hold between 30 and 45 stocks selected from the S&P/ASX 200 index and will make decisions based on the Ausbil ESG research team. Ausbil’s chief investment officer and head of equities Paul Xiradis said that ESG factors are an integral part of the investment process at Ausbil. “Rather than focusing only on growth or value investing, our investment process allows us to exploit the inefficiencies across the entire market, at all stages on the cycle and in all market conditions.
“Our ESG stock research means that we’re better informed and it’s our belief that this will lead to better performance over the long term,” he said.
Head of ESG research Mans Carlsson-Sweeny said that Ausbil actively worked with management teams to ensure that companies were committed to sustainability. “We spend a lot of time with companies to identify earnings that are sustainable over time and we actively engage with management to ensure that they are committed to their ESG responsibilities,” he said. Head of distribution Mark Knight said that demand for ESG-focused investments had grown but investors still sought strong returns. “Investors are now far more ESG aware and are seeking investment options that adopt a sustainable approach. At the same time, they’re seeking an active return over time,” he said.