Fund Management

Standard Life Investments Launches Its First Impact Product

Robbie Lawther Reporter London 23 October 2017

Standard Life Investments Launches Its First Impact Product

The fund will be be co-managed by Sarah Norris and Dominic Byrne.

Standard Life Investments has launched its first impact investment product, the Global Equity Impact Fund, that backs companies whose activities, technologies or products are specifically designed to provide solutions in areas such as healthcare, education and poverty.

The fund will be co-managed by Sarah Norris and Dominic Byrne, the firm said in a statement.

Launch of the fund comes at a time of considerable ferment in the field of what is called impact investing, an approach where money is put to work in certain fields to generate non-financial returns as well as investment gains.

The Global Equity Impact 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 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. 

“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,” said Euan Stirling, global head of stewardship and ESG investment.

“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," Stirling added.

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