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Pathfinder Asset Management launches RI option

Pathfinder Asset Management is working to gauge the level of adviser interest in its new Responsible Investment Fund.

Monday, May 15th 2017, 5:59AM

by Susan Edmunds

The fund has launched for wholesale investors, investing in global listed companies, with Ngai Tahu Holdings as the cornerstone investor.

The Responsible Investment Fund holdings are screened for revenue sources to exclude, for example, companies involved in gambling, tobacco and controversial munitions. Companies are also scored for environmental, social and corporate governance factors (ESG) which cover a range of issues including operational incidents, environmental impacts and product recalls. Screening is conducted by Sustainalytics, a leading global provider of ESG research and ratings.

“Most of the focus in New Zealand on responsible investing is exclusions... in our mind exclusions are very negative and don’t go far enough," said Pathfinder executive director John Berry.

He said it was better to focus on positively rewarding behaviours that the fund wanted to encourage.

Returns should be as good as or better than the market, he said. “Responsible investing is raising the bar around behaviour for corporates. It has been acceptable to say that a company complies with the law as the minimum standard but responsible investing is about not just complying with the law but conducting business in accordance with a fair set of ethics that benefit society.”

Berry said Pathfinder wanted to see how much interest advisers had in the product before it decided to launch a retail product.

Pathfinder’s Global Water Fund was the firm’s first socially responsible option and has an average return of 12.2% per year over the past five years.

Tags: John Berry Pathfinder Asset Management

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