Investec has become the latest fund group to launch a sustainable fund, handing the reins to Citywire AA-rated smaller company manager Matt Evans.
Evans, who joined Investec from Threadneedle in 2017 and is manager of the Investec UK Smaller Companies fund, will invest in companies of all sizes in the Investec UK Sustainable Equity fund, which launched in December.
The manager is building a portfolio of between 40 and 60 stocks ‘with a focus on positive inclusion and engagement’ that are ‘deemed to make a positive contribution to the future of society and the environment’.
These companies will feature 'sustainable and socially responsible practices, products, and/or other services’ including alternative energy, energy efficiency, and water treatment companies, 'as well as companies that contribute to improving the basic needs and quality of life of society, such as those providing or improving access to finance, healthcare, and education’. Charges have been set at 0.89% on the share class that most platforms will feature.
Evans (pictured) has a background of ethical investing, having run the Threadneedle Ethical UK Equity fund since its launch in October 2015 until he left to join Investec.
In just over 18 months at the helm of the fund, he delivered 25%, placing the fund in the top quarter of the Investment Association's UK All Companies sector over that period, and fourth among the 15 funds in the sector with an ethical or sustainable remit.
He delivered his strongest returns on the Threadneedle UK Smaller Companies fund, returning 78% in under four years before his departure for Investec, a record that places the fund eighth of 45 in the Investment Association's UK Smaller Companies sector and contributes to his Citywire AA rating.
In a tougher environment for smaller companies investing since joining Investec he has lost 8% on his fund, although that still places him in the top half of the sector.
Investec's launch is the latest in a number of sustainable fund launches. Citywire AAA-rated Terry Smith launched the Fundsmith Sustainable Equity fund for institutional investors just over a year ago, having successfully running a portfolio for Comic Relief.
Jupiter Asset Management launched its Global Sustainable Equities fund last year, managed by Abbie Llewllyn-Waters, while M&G launched the Positive Impact fund, managed by John William Olsen, which focuses on companies addressing the world’s major social and environmental challenges.