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Stewart Investors’ Sustainable Funds Group launches emerging markets sustainability fund

Earth from spaceSteward Investors’ Sustainable Funds Group (SFD) has launched a Global Emerging Markets Leaders Sustainability Fund for UK investors.

The fund which is available as an OCEIC and in early 2022 as an Irish VCC for the UK, European Economic Area and Switzerland invests in high-quality mid-to-large-cap companies that are considered to be well positioned to contribute to and benefit from sustainable development, with a focus on delivering long-term capital growth over market cycles.

Portfolio managers for the fund include Jack Nelson and David Gait.

The GEM Leaders Sustainability strategy will focus on companies with a market capitalisation of over US$1 billion and can hold between 25 – 60 investments at any one time, with a minimum suggested timeframe for investors of seven years.

The GEM Leaders Sustainability strategy was first launched in the US in April 2020, and more recently in Australia. It currently has assets under management globally of £193 million, as of 31 October 2021.

Nelson said: “Having a strong focus on sustainability, in particular looking at companies’ stewardship and how they treat all stakeholders, is crucial in identifying the best long-term opportunities in emerging markets.

“Our bottom-up approach, as well as a long-term time horizon and regular engagement with our portfolio companies, allow us to identify and invest in quality companies with sustainability tailwinds."

Gait said there has been increased demand for the firm’s global emerging markets capability in Europe.

“We constantly seek out companies who are well positioned to meet the challenge of, and benefit from, sustainable development, and are thus better placed to deliver solid absolute returns over the long term. We look forward to offering this investment opportunity to our customers across Europe,” he added.

The Sustainable Funds Group has its own microsite dedicate to its sustainability strategies. The site includes Portfolio Explore, an interactive tool which gives clients access to companies held in their strategies and how they contribute to sustainable development.

Users can filter the map by Sustainable Development Goals or individual company names. For each company the team holds, the investment rationale, sustainability positioning, risks and areas for engagement are provided.

The team aims to achieve positive social and environmental outcomes by investing in, and proactively engaging with, companies which support positive contributions such as health and wellbeing, financial inclusion, reducing waste, water and energy efficiency, and renewable energy and avoiding companies that participate in harmful and controversial practices.

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