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AXA IM Launches Smart Beta Equity ESG Fund

Amisha Mehta, Deputy Editor, 13 July 2016

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AXA Investment Managers, part of France’s AXA Group, said the fund offers a way to invest responsibly while generating long-term returns with a low volatility approach.

AXA Investment Managers has launched a smart beta equity fund, investing in companies that score highly on environmental, social and governance factors.

The AXA World Funds Global SmartBeta Equity ESG fund, which will use both negative and positive screening, aims to deliver 1-2 per cent annualised excess return with around 80 per cent of market volatility over a full cycle.

“We believe that our SmartBeta strategy should be a long-term holding for clients, however, given the current high levels of political uncertainty and increased volatility following the Brexit vote, we believe that the lower risk features could be especially attractive at this time,” said Jonathan White, AXA IM SmartBeta client portfolio manager.

“Our SmartBeta strategy is designed to deliver a more advanced low volatility approach, taking into account earnings volatility as well as price volatility. Importantly, this allows investors to benefit from a lower risk profile in ‘down’ markets, as well as capturing returns in rising markets.”

The fund has institutional share classes and is available to investors in Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK. A retail share class is expected to be launched later in the year.

AXA Investment Managers had around €666 billion ($738 billion) in assets under management as of end-March 2016.

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