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Manager salts up its fund menu

Salt Funds Management has completed the rollout of its retail investor suite, focussed on sustainable investing.

Friday, October 1st 2021, 2:00PM

Salt, which has around $2.3 billion in funds under management has primarily been an institutional investor managing money for Westpac/BT and AMP Capital Management.

In the past six months it has rolled out a series of six retail funds all with a sustainable focus, and the last two of those in the past week.

Head of Global Diversified Funds Greg Fleming says the focus on sustainable funds comes from a number of areas, one of those is research the manager has done on structural (longer-term) themes for investment. Amongst the themes are sustainability and climate change.

He says sustainability also includes the financial system and real assets play a key role providing steady income and being inflation proofed.

One of the latest funds is the Salt Sustainable Global Listed Property Fund which is managed by Cohen & Steers.

Head of Client Partnerships Greg McMaster says it was "a real coup" to land Cohen & Steers as underlying investment manager. The firm was the pioneer of REIT investing in the United States and currently has US$86 billion of funds invested in real assets. 

Added to that Salt appointed Morgan Stanley Investment Management for its Sustainable Global Share Fund. MSIM oversee $1.5 trillion of assets and leaders in the ESG/Carbon reduction space.

McMaster says Salt's focus on sustainable funds has been driven by client demand and also the lessons it has learnt from its listed Carbon Fund (NZX:CO2).

"The Carbon Fund has given us real insight into how important climate change is to investors," he says. Since the launch Salt has continued to evolve and improve its ESG processes.

Fleming says if a manager truly wants to embrace ESG then active management is the only way that can be achieved.

"For sustainable investing you have to have active management," he says. And a manager has to be agile.

Fleming, who is a multi-asset specialist, says in the past a balanced portfolio may have been 60:40 growth and income. There is a view that it should now be 60:20:20 with 20% invested other assets including real assets.

He says Salt is fortunate as a relatively new manager it can develop funds for the current environment rather than having to try and change existing funds. Also it offers some uncorrelated funds, including the Carbon Funds and its Long/short fund.

"We are working for the best outcomes for our clients," he says. "We're not a me-too manager."

Tags: Climate Change Salt AM

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