AXA Investment Managers Launch Smart Beta Sustainability Fund

Jul 14 2016 | 12:03am ET

In another sign that sustainable investing continues to command a portion of the alternatives space, AXA Investment Managers has announced the launch of a new smart beta equity fund that concentrates on investments that adhere to environmental, social and governance standards.

The new fund, named the AXA World Funds Global SmartBeta Equity ESG fund, hopes to deliver long-term returns while reducing risk through investments that carry high ESG scores and low carbon footprints, according to an article in Citywire. The portfolio process includes AXA IM’s proprietary ESG framework, which seeks to find companies with high sustainability scores as well as avoid those in controversies or with low scores.

Manager on the new fund will be Gideon Smith, who manages AXA IM’s range of smart beta strategies, Citywire said. 

The fund is passported in Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK as an institutional share class, with a retail share class expected later this year. As with many financial products operating across borders in Europe, however the potential ramifications of the U.K. decision to leave the EU in late June on the fund’s distribution remain to be seen. 

AXA IM managed more than €669 billion in assets at the end of 2015 from 29 offices in 21 countries. The company is part of the AXA Group, a global leader in financial protection and wealth management.

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