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Pathfinder launches vegan fund offer

Pathfinder Asset Management has launched a vegan-friendly fund option.

Saturday, September 22nd 2018, 6:00AM

It comes after research last week revealed animal rights issues were New Zealanders’ primary concern in responsible investment.

Chief executive John Berry said all the investments in its Global Water Fund would now be screened for compliance with animal welfare and animal resting criteria.

The fund also excludes companies involved in thermal coal, gambling, adult entertainment, tobacco and controversial weapons.

One investment had to be dropped as a result, he said, because the company had a pharmaceutical arm involved in testing.

Berry said animal rights issues were not something that had been discussed as part of responsible investment conversations so far but Pathfinder had had a number of calls recently asking whether it had a product for vegans, or whether it was concerned about animal welfare issues.

“We drilled down into the activities of each company in the Global Water Fund with help from Sustainalytics, a world leader in responsible investment research. Given the nature of companies in the Global Water Fund, virtually all passed our animal welfare screening – only one company needed to be removed. We’re pleased to provide an investment solution that addresses these concerns.”

He said many companies were involved in a number of different activities and the full range had to be considered.

Unlike screening for something such as tobacco, or controversial weapons, where a manager could say it would exclude any company with more than 5 per cent revenue from those sources, screening for animal and human rights issues required a wider examination, he said.

The Global Water Fund was first launched in 2010 and has a focus on the environmental, social and governance characteristics of the companies it invests in. The fund directly holds shares in 64 companies from around the globe that are involved in the water industry. These operations include manufacturing water equipment, building water infrastructure, designing water treatment technology and operating water and waste water plants. The fund does not invest in bottled water companies or companies trading water rights.

The Global Water Fund’s focus on responsible investment has delivered for investors with seven-returns to August 31 averaging 11.6% per annum (after fees and before tax).

Tags: Pathfinder Asset Management responsible investing

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