The Fund is a diversified Australian fixed interest fund that aligns with investors’ specific personal and social values without compromising investment returns over the long term.
Bill Bovingdon, chief investment officer at Altius, said there are very few options available to investors looking for fixed interest investments with a sustainable overlay.
“While there have been equity funds available for some time that are managed with reference to environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) principles, the same hasn’t been true of fixed income funds.
“But we were aware there was demand for such an option, and since launching the Fund we have seen a very high level of interest, particularly from not-for-profit organisations.
“We also expect demand from other institutional investors, as well as retail investors, to continue to grow as ESG approaches gain in popularity, so achieving this platform listing is a major milestone for the Fund,” Mr Bovingdon said.
Matt Heine, joint managing director at netwealth, agreed there is increasing market demand for ethical funds.
“Recent research findings from our members and investors show they are interested in accessing more ethical and sustainable options, and we are committed to providing a wide range of investment choices in response to those demands,” Mr Heine said.
The Altius Sustainable Bond Fund aims to outperform the better of the Bloomberg AusBond Composite Index (the benchmark) by one percent per annum and the RBA cash rate through a cycle (before fees).
Companies are generally excluded from the Fund’s investment universe if their primary business activity involves armaments, uranium, gambling, tobacco production, pornography, alcohol production, or production or sale of thermal coal.
The remaining investment universe is given a sustainability ranking. A company may be excluded from the investment universe if it is materially involved in:
causing or perpetuating injustice and suffering;
infringing human rights;
supporting oppressive regimes;
animal testing for cosmetic purposes;
having unacceptable environmental management practices; or
having unacceptable occupational health and safety practices.
Since inception in November 2014, the Fund has returned 3.05 percent (as at 30 June 2015).
Altius Asset Management is a boutique fixed interest asset management business, responsible for more than $500 million in funds under management. The business was formed through a joint venture with Australian Unity Investments in 2011.
Returns are calculated after fees and expenses and assume the reinvestment of distributions. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Australian Unity Funds Management Limited ABN 60 071 497 115, AFSL 234454 is the responsible entity for the Altius Sustainable Bond Fund. This product is managed by Altius Asset Management Pty Ltd ABN 62 148 000 355. The information in this document is general information only and does not take into account the financial objectives, situation or needs of any particular investor. Before deciding whether to acquire, hold or dispose of a product, an investor should refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). A copy of the PDS can be obtained by calling 1800 649 033 or 13 29 39 or visiting australianunityinvestments.com.au.
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