Investing with Impact
18 October 2017
Standard Life Investments has today launched its first impact product, the Global Equity Impact Fund, co-managed by Sarah Norris and Dominic Byrne.
Impact investing involves investing in companies that have the intention of generating measurable positive social and environmental impact alongside financial returns. While environmental, social and governance analysis has become an integral tool for investment managers, screening for positive impact is ready to enter the mainstream.
Standard Life Investments has used the universally accepted 17 United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to develop its own impact process and analysis. This helps ensure the companies in which the Fund invests are truly having a positive impact – for the ultimate benefit of the environment, society and clients. All 17 SDGs are incorporated into the Fund and the UN’s associated targets inform the investment process. The Fund then invests in companies whose activities, technologies or products are specifically designed to provide solutions in areas such as healthcare, education, poverty and many more.
The Fund is structured for investors who want to invest for a better future and is managed using five principles:
- To support the delivery of measurable, positive environmental and social impact while seeking to generate strong financial returns
- A bottom-up, company-specific investment approach
- Rigorous peer review of investment ideas at every stage in the investment process
- A forward-looking, long-term approach
- Active company engagement
The Fund will have a high-conviction portfolio of 35-60 stocks. To ensure that companies are making a genuine impact through the products they make or the services they provide, each company must intentionally direct its resources towards making a positive environmental or social contribution, must actively implement this strategy in its operations and the impact must be measurable.
Commenting on the Fund launch, Euan Stirling, Global Head of Stewardship and ESG Investment at Aberdeen Standard Investments said:
"Impact investing is not just about rewarding those already making a difference, but about shifting the might of the capital market to change the world for the better. The world faces numerous challenges, from climate change and poverty, to inequality and pollution. As asset managers, we believe we can play a vital role in helping to address these issues. Through the Global Equity Impact Fund we aim to have a positive social and environmental impact, while still delivering an above-market financial return for our clients."
Sarah Norris, Fund Manager, said:
“Asset owners are looking to embrace impact investing but lack appropriate investment solutions. The UN’s SDGs provide a common language for impact solutions that help unlock impact investing for mainstream investors. Active management is an essential component of successful impact investing. Engagement with management is necessary, both for impact analysis and to encourage better behaviours and disclosures.”
The Global Equity Impact Fund combines the expertise of our firm-wide equity research capability with the expertise of Aberdeen Standard Investments’ dedicated ESG team.