City A.M., Angharad Carrick, Monday 2 November 2020 4:03 pm
Investment platform AJ Bell has launched its first sustainable fund investing in “responsibly screened” ETFs .
The AJ Bell Responsible Growth Fund will invest in ETFs which remove stocks from controversial companies such as tobacco or alcohol.
Any firm that breaches the UN Global Compact, which implements sustainable principles, will also be excluded.
“Once these companies are removed, companies that have strong ESG factors are included to give a diversified exposure to different regions and sectors, with better than average impact on both people and the planet,” AJ Bell said.
It comes amid growing interest in sustainable investing. Recent figures from the Investment Association showed that responsible and sustainable funds in the UK reached a high of £33bn, a 89 per cent rise since the end of 2019.
Chief investment officer Kevin Doran said: “People are increasingly waking up to the fact that their long-term investments can be put to good use by investing in companies that are making a positive contribution to our society and the environment.”
“We want to make that as easy as possible for them by providing a fully managed portfolio that does all the heavy lifting for them and focuses on maximising investment returns whilst investing responsibly.”
The offer period for the fund opens on 2 November at a price of £1 per unit and will run for three weekends. It will start trading on 23 November. The annual management charge is 0.15 per cnet and the ongoing charges figures is capped at one per cent.
In a trading update last month AJ Bell reported an eight per cent rise in total assets under management to £56.6bn, up from £54.3bn at the end of June, as customers flocked to its broker platform amid the market volatility.
The rise in assets was largely credited to AJ Bell’s platform business, with £2.8bn of inflows from advised clients and £2.1bn from the direct-to-consumer market.