RIAA is the peak industry body representing responsible and ethical investors across Australia and New Zealand. It has more than 160 members who collectively manage at least $1 trillion globally in assets under management.
Simon O’Connor, chief executive officer of RIAA, said, "RIAA’s Responsible Investment Certification Program is aimed at helping investors of all kinds navigate towards investment options and financial advice that better match their investment beliefs and personal values.
"The responsible investment sector constitutes a growing force in the finance and capital markets of Australasia. More than half of the major superannuation funds and nine of the top 10 fund managers have committed to a more responsible approach to undertaking investments."
The Fund was launched in December 2014. It is a diversified Australian fixed interest fund focused on investing in companies which conduct their business and apply capital responsibly, giving full consideration to a range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
Bill Bovingdon, chief investment officer of Altius Asset Management, said, "In a well-diversified portfolio, investors should have an exposure to bonds, providing diversification benefits when equities are underperforming.
"Unfortunately, there are limited investment options available to investors looking for an ESG managed fixed interest investment. Often investors use bank-issued hybrids as their main solution. However, hybrids include equity-like risks so lack defensive characteristics and do not offer a high level of diversification.
"The Fund offers investors the opportunity to access a diversified Australian fixed interest portfolio that aligns with investors’ personal and social values without compromising investment returns over the long term."
Companies are 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.
The 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).
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. This information 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.
*Bloomberg Finance L.P. and its affiliates (collectively, “Bloomberg”) do not approve or endorse this material and disclaim a liability for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of the use of all or any part of this material.
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.