Columbia Threadneedle has upgraded a global equity fund domiciled in Luxembourg to Article 9 under the EU sustainable investment rules.
A second fund upgraded to Article 9 is a social bond fund and the firm said it now manages four Article 9 funds in total.
The upgrades are part of the EU self-classification regime determined by the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regime (SFDR).
Columbia Threadneedle has also upgraded eight funds to Article 8, the second highest level of sustainable commitment after SFDR Article 9.
All the funds are part of the firm’s Luxembourg Sicav fund range and the upgrades are accompanied by name changes.
The funds will continue to invest in sustainable investments, but the investment policy and SFDR “RTS Annex” will be amended to commit the funds to invest at least 80% of their total assets in sustainable investments within the meaning of Article 2(17) of SFDR.
One fund classified as Article 9 is the CT (Lux) Sustainable Outcomes Global Equity, which was launched in 2021 and is managed by Pauline Grange. The fund invests in companies which Columbia Threadneedle says are delivering positive sustainable outcomes for the environment and/or society through their products and services. The investee companies also display strong environmental, social and governance practices in line with one or more of the fund’s eight environmental or social themes, which include good health and well-being, and reduced inequalities.
The other newly upgraded Article 9 fund is the CT (Lux) European Social Bond fund managed by Tammie Tang and launched in 2017 with the aim of using “the power of the bond market” to deliver a positive impact for society without sacrificing financial returns.
Following the reclassification, Columbia Threadneedle’s offering includes 24 Article 8 funds and four Article 9 funds, with 84% of assets under management in the Sicav classified as either Article 8 or Article 9 financial products.
The firm said that in addition to the upgrades it will also consider the ‘principle adverse impacts’ of its investment decisions that may negatively harm sustainability factors. This is done through a combination of exclusions, investment research and monitoring and engaging with investee companies.
The name changes centre on introducing the prefix ‘CT (Lux) rather than ‘Threadneedle (Lux)’ or ‘Columbia Threadneedle (Lux)’. The changes are intended to reflect the Columbia Threadneedle brand more and provide consistency with the firm’s other fund ranges.
Florian Uleer, head of Emea wholesale at the firm, said: “We know that how we invest and what we invest in is as important as the financial returns we generate for our clients. For that reason, we have been developing our fund range to meet the sustainability requirements of our clients since we launched the first ethical fund in Europe, in 1987.
“Since the introduction of the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation in 2021, our priority has been to build on our responsible investment capabilities, while adapting our product range to the new rules.
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