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Pathfinder focuses on responsibility

Fund manager Pathfinder is rebranding, with a focus on responsible investing.

Monday, October 2nd 2017, 6:00AM 1 Comment

by Susan Edmunds

It is dropping “Asset Management” from its logo and will instead be displayed as Pathfinder – Invest Responsibly.

Chief executive John Berry said Pathfinder had had a responsible bent since 2010 when it launched its water fund, but was now making a firmer, clearer commitment.

It has also launched a new retail fund, which will also be distributed via Sharesies – the Pathfinder Global Responsibility Fund.

Berry said Sharesies made the fund available to a wider group of people than would otherwise be able to access it.

Advisers were still a key part of the strategy, he said, and were dealing with a different audience.

He said advisers needed to understand that investors were putting increasing importance on responsible investing, they should be asking their clients whether they wanted to take their personal values into account with their investment decisions, and that investing responsibly should not cost investors.

The fund uses best practice responsible investment frameworks, actively incorporating ESG factors into its stock selection and ownership practices.

Berry said: “We are determined to set the benchmark for responsible investment in New Zealand. A recent RIAA analysis showed that just three of the domestic fund managers that have signed up to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (UNPRI) are achieving internationally-recognised best-practice standards.

“Many New Zealand fund managers’ responsible investment practices extend only to the exclusion of companies in a narrow range of sectors. Many do not see the need for responsible investment to go further. They regard environmental, social and governance factors as only relevant to specialist funds rather than having broad appeal. Sometimes managers almost describe responsible investment as an after-thought.

“We don’t think that goes far enough. We believe the investing public expects a more proactive, common-sense approach that is positive and goes beyond simple exclusions."

The Pathfinder GRF invests in a portfolio of 250 stocks selected from the Morningstar Developed Markets Index. It excludes companies on the NZ Super Fund exclusions list.

It also excludes companies that generate material revenue from gambling, tobacco, controversial weapons, adult entertainment and thermal coal and those companies whose investments are generating significant controversy in international markets.

The launch of the GRF follows the successful launch of a wholesale version of the fund in May this year. The wholesale fund has attracted $47 million of investment from Ngai Tahu.

Tags: ESG financial advisers funds management investment John Berry Pathfinder Asset Management responsible investing

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Comments from our readers

On 2 October 2017 at 2:56 pm Pragmatic said:
Good foresight

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