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Neuberger Berman and UBS establish UN SDG fund

ESG investing 1Investment manager Neuberger Berman has reframed its existing $35 million global high yield fund to focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), in partnership with UBS Global Wealth Management.

The Ucits fund will invest in high yield bonds globally, looking to engage with objectives related to the UN SDGs while also looking to generate competitive yield and total returns.

The fund has been renamed the Neuberger Berman Global High Yield SDG Engagement Fund. It will be available to UBS clients in Switzerland and other select international markets exclusively for six months, after which the fund will open to all eligible global investors, excluding the US.

The fund’s managers will look to engage with issuers on objectives aligned with the UN SDGs. They have also pledged to deliver regular reporting on engagement progress by sharing case studies and key performance indicators relating to the issuers’ products, services, operations or processes.

The fund’s management team includes senior portfolio managers Chris Kocinski, Joseph Lind, Jennifer Gorgoll and Simon Matthews. 

They will be supported by 37 non-investment grade analysts and Neuberger’s global fixed income platform, as well as the firm’s ESG investing team.

This team will incorporate ESG assessments using the Neuberger Berman ESG Quotient, which collects data from proprietary ESG ratings, disclosed data, analyst judgement and data science insights.

Jose Cosio, head of global intermediary (ex US) at Neuberger Berman, said: “Neuberger Berman and UBS have co-innovated the strategy over the past few months and we are confident it will be attractive to investors. 

“Investors prefer not to give up yield or total return but still want to drive forward their sustainable objectives within their portfolios.”

Before its refashioning as UN SDG focused, the fund ran from 4 August 2016 to 6 April 2022 as the Neuberger Berman Global High Yield Bond Fund.

According to its May factsheet, the fund returned 2.89% over five years while the ICE BofA Global High Yield Constrained Index returned 3.19%.

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