A new responsible investment fund has been launched for Australian investors to meet a growing demand for access to positive ESG analysis.
Legg Mason has launched the Legg Mason QS Investors Global Responsible Investment Fund to meet market demand for a fund that embeds positive ESG analysis alongside ethical restrictions.
The fund utilises the expertise of affiliate QS investors whose approach is a blend of fundamental and behavioural perspectives through a systematic process for more dependable outcomes.
Legg Mason’s head of Australia and New Zealand Andy Sowerby said it was a privilege to offer this capability to Australian investors which had two distinct features.
“First, it fully integrates a proprietary model of ESG assessment that enables companies to be ranked and reviewed through multiple lenses to assess their effectiveness across the ESG spectrum – a systematic process that then focuses research and investments in those companies scoring highly in this regard.
“Second, a strict filter is applied across the investment universe to remove companies that do not meet certain ethical criteria. The exclusion list encompasses several sectors including tobacco, gambling, alcohol, defence and weapons, fur, genetically modified crops, nuclear energy, oil sands and thermal coal,” he said.
These restrictions allow investors to align their values with their investment returns, said Mr Sowerby.
“The additional restrictions on certain sectors and stocks on ethical grounds makes this investment solution an ideal core holding for investors seeking to align their values and investments without sacrificing the potential for high returns,” he said.
The fund will aim to outperform the MSCI World ESG Leaders Index and QS Investors were the best people to deliver that said Mr Sowerby.
“The marriage of a clear investment philosophy, disciplined investment process and proven investment team that focuses on identifying those companies with the best ESG credentials at attractive valuations is a powerful combination.”
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