Geneva’s UBP launches emerging market ESG bond fund

Denis_GiraultUnion Bancaire Privée (UBP) has launched a socially responsible fund to invest in emerging market companies that are said to be increasingly conscious of their social and environmental impacts.

The Geneva-based bank said the UBAM - EM Sustainable High Grade Corporate Bond Fund will invest in 50 issuers from 20 countries.

The launch also reflects a “strengthening” in Geneva-based UBP’s approach to responsible investing, which is headed by Victoria Leggett, the bank said.

Denis Girault (pictured), head of emerging market fixed income, manages the fund using in-house environmental, social and governance (ESG) research and issuer screening from MSCI ESG Research.

Girault and team identify bond issuers that score the highest ESG ratings and exclude companies from a number of sectors with a “negative sustainability impact”.

Girault said: “Just like their developed market peers, many emerging market corporate issuers have decided to reinforce their ESG practices.”

UBP has around 125.3 billion Swiss francs (€108 billion) in assets under management.

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