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File Image: IOL

Old Mutual launches South African ESG equity fund

By Martin Hesse Time of article published Jun 15, 2020

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In a breakthrough for the South African investment industry, Old Mutual has launched the first retail unit trust fund to invest in JSE-listed companies that score highly on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

The actively managed Old Mutual ESG Equity Fund will complement the company’s two passive global ESG funds, the Old Mutual MSCI World ESG Index Feeder Fund and the Old Mutual MSCI Emerging Markets ESG Index Feeder Fund.

The fund, which launched on May 31, is managed by Fawaz Fakier and is aimed at investors with an investment horizon of five years or more. It is also available in Old Mutual’s suite of tax-free investments.

Its total annual investment charge, of 1.18% for retail investors, is relatively low for an actively managed equity fund.

Elize Botha, managing director of Old Mutual Unit Trusts, says the fund invests in companies that have strong balance sheets, are well priced and score highly on criteria developed by global index provider MSCI for its ESG indices.

The portfolio currently consists of about 85 companies, of which the top 10 holdings are: Naspers, Prosus, FirstRand, Standard Bank, Richemont, Old Mutual, MTN, Clicks, Kumba Iron Ore and Anglo Gold.

“Investors with a longer-term horizon, who are primarily seeking exposure to a South African general equity fund with a high ESG focus, will find this solution particularly attractive, as it targets a significantly lower carbon footprint and a higher ESG profile relative to the benchmark (the FTSE/JSE Capped Shareholder Weighted All Share Index),” Botha says. 


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