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UBP rolls out EM impact fund

Other banks also believe that there is an increasing interest in impact investing among Asia-based investors.
Solar panels fields on the green hills

Union Bancaire Privée has launched an impact product focusing on emerging market equities, according to a statement from the firm.

The UBAM – Positive Impact Emerging Equity Fund will consist of 35-45 emerging market stocks across six themes mapped to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The themes include basic needs, health and well-being, inclusive and fair economies, healthy ecosystems, climate stability and sustainable communities.

Initial investments will include companies involved in renewable energy and energy storage, transport disruption, life and health insurance and microfinance, the statement said.

The fund also aims to measure impact by using a proprietary scoring methodology, which judges the impact intensity of each stock and assigns it a score out of 20. A score of 12 is the minimum threshold for acceptance into the portfolio and watchlist.

Source: UBP

The firm already has another impact product, the Positive Impact Equity, which was launched in 2018, according to the statement.

Asia demand?

The firm believes that there is demand for impact investing among Asia investors. Within the region, the strategy is available to accredited investors in Singapore, according to the statement.

“We are indeed seeing more institutional and individual investors in Asia becoming increasingly open to impact investing over the past couple of years,” Ted Hollad, UBP’s Asia CEO, said in the statement.

Other wealth managers have noted the trend of regional clients interest in ESG portfolios.

UBS Wealth, for example, launched a sustainable portfolio for global wealth clients in 2018 and has since attracted $1bn in investment from Asia, the firm said.

Pictet Wealth also reversed course and last year said it was working on an Asia-focused ESG solution for wealth management clients.

David Gaud, Pictet’s Singapore-based Asia head of discretionary portfolio management and chief investment officer, cited a trend taking shape among Asia clients to embed ESG factors in the management of their wealth.

Separately, NYSE-listed wealth manager Noah and its asset management arm, Gopher Asset Management, have also joined the UN Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI) initiative.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.