Aegon Asset Management and Aegon UK have partnered with Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) to launch the Aegon Global Sustainable Sovereign Bond fund at COP26.
The new fund will incorporate the sustainability characteristics of sovereign bonds into its investment strategy and will launch this month, seeded with £100 million from Aegon UK.
It will be available to individuals saving through their workplace pension, as the fund will become part of Aegon UK’s Universal Balanced Collection, which is widely used as a scheme default fund. It will also be available directly through Aegon AM, subject to completion of registrations.
Brunno Maradei, head of responsible investing at Aegon AM, said: “We are delighted to be selected by GEFI as a leading example of sustainable investing. We are proud to work with them and our partners at Aegon UK to promote the new fund at COP26.
“The alignment of sovereign portfolios with the global sustainability agenda facilitates responsible capital allocation, which has positive long-term social and environmental impact.”
The fund will be managed by government bond specialists within Aegon AM’s global fixed income platform, which includes 136 fixed income specialists across the UK, the US, and the Netherlands. They will also be supported by the 17-strong global responsible investment team which is led by Maradei.
In January 2021, Aegon UK committed to making its default pension fund carbon net zero by 2050 and to halving its carbon emissions by 2030. Alongside this, the company has transitioned more than £10 billion of default assets into carbon optimised strategies.
GEFI, a Scottish-based organisation, will also launch its SDG Financial Products Platform at COP26. The platform is the result of a long-standing collaboration between GEFI and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to develop financial products aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The platform solely works with financial institutions that demonstrate a genuine commitment to the 2030 SDG goals.
GEFI has selected the Aegon Global Sustainable Sovereign Bond fund, managed by Aegon AM, as a “leading and innovative example of sustainability alignment” by GEFI and will be a founding partner of the platform.
Omar Shaikh, co-founder and director at GEFI, said: “We are delighted to launch our SDG Financial Products Platform at COP26 which will support our ambition to see the UN Sustainable Development Goals delivered by 2030.
“Aegon have demonstrated real leadership with this £100 million commitment and have shown how private sector investment and innovative products can be delivered for the benefit of people and planet.”
Aegon AM had assets under management of £336.1 billion as of June 30, 2021 and a client base that includes pension plans, public funds, insurance companies, banks, wealth managers, family offices and foundations.
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