Legg Mason launches responsible investment fund for Australian investors

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The Fund was launched to meet demand for a global equity fund that embeds positive Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) analysis alongside certain ethical restrictions.

“It’s a privilege to be able to offer this innovative capability to investors in the Australian market for the first time” said Andy Sowerby, Legg Mason head Australia & New Zealand.

“First, it fully integrates a proprietary model of ESG assessment that enables companies to be ranked and reviewed through multiple lenses to assess their effectiveness across the ESG spectrum – a systematic process that then focuses research and investments in those companies scoring highly in this regard.”

“Second, a strict filter is applied across the investment universe to remove companies that do not meet certain ethical criteria.” The exclusion list encompasses several sectors including tobacco, gambling, alcohol, defence and weapons, fur, genetically modified crops, nuclear energy, oil sands and thermal coal.

“The additional restrictions on certain sectors and stocks on ethical grounds makes this investment solution an ideal core holding for investors seeking to align their values and investments without sacrificing the potential for high returns.”

The Fund will aim to outperform the MSCI World ESG Leaders Index