RobecoSAM launches Global Sustainable Impact Equities strategy

RobecoSAM, the investment specialist that has focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing (SI) for over 22 years, announced the launch of the RobecoSAM Global Sustainable Impact Equities strategy (the “strategy”). The strategy’s intention is to deliver direct impact and attractive returns by investing in a portfolio of listed companies whose products and services as well as their global operations demonstrably contribute toward the achievement of the SDGs. The strategy is tailored to retail and institutional investors, as well as foundations, that are looking to put their wealth to work in support of the SDGs, create positive and measureable impact, while generating competitive returns.

A win-win-win opportunity

The UN’s 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development and its set of 17 SDGs represent a significant step toward redistributing the responsibility for economic and social progress from public agents to a wider base of stakeholders that include corporations, asset owners, and private investors. The SDGs significantly increase the role of business and of finance in advancing social, economic and human development. In fact, according to the UNEPFI, the achievement of the SDGs will require a flow of USD 5-7 trillion per year until 2030 into relevant solution providers – most of which will need to stem from private finance.

Bringing SDG investing to the space of listed equities securities increases the capital allocated to companies with the expertise, scale, and technology to move the needle significantly toward a more sustainable economy. Investing in the SDGs is a societal imperative, an economic necessity, as well as a great multi-billion opportunity for investors, who are looking to instigate positive, measurable impact while generating competitive returns.

Rainer Baumann, CFA, Head of Investment Management & Member of the Executive Committee, RobecoSAM: “SDG investing can be seen as further development of SI, which RobecoSAM has been successfully doing since 1995. In line with our longstanding investment architecture, the RobecoSAM Global Sustainable Impact Equities strategy invests in companies that provide solutions to global challenges and contribute markedly to achieving the SDGs. Because we believe these companies will outperform in the long term, we have created this win-win-win opportunity for society, investors and the companies we have identified as SDG-enablers.”

A truly integrated investment approach with clear intention

The starting investment universe for the strategy consists of 5’000 global stocks. Companies are then assessed in detail and rated according to the degree to which they support the SDGs, using the percentage of sales for each business segment, geographic distribution, and an evaluation of the extent to which the company’s products or services create impact. Only companies with a measurable and significant impact on one or multiple SDGs are selected for inclusion in the “SDG universe” of approximately 1’000 stocks. RobecoSAM Equity and SI analysts then employ an investment approach based on sustainability, profitability, quality and valuation to select the best stocks. Risk/return profile optimization techniques are applied to the remaining stocks to determine an efficient portfolio of approximately 60-80 stocks.

By combining such a high impact universe with the firm’s research into ESG excellency and fundamental research skills, the RobecoSAM Global Sustainable Impact Equites strategy provides a high conviction impact portfolio and aims to outperform broad equity markets by 2-4% (annualized) over a full market cycle.

Jacob Messina, CFA, Head of Sustainability Investing Research, RobecoSAM: “We have applied RobecoSAM’s collective thematic investing expertise, gained over more than 22 years, to identify and invest in companies that provide solutions to some of the worlds’ greatest challenges. By combining our thematic research with the financially material sustainability information collected via the annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), we are able to identify companies that contribute positively to the SDGs, and produce detailed reporting that allows investors to understand the impact of their wealth. The RobecoSAM Global Sustainable Impact Equities strategy meets the growing demand from investors for investment vehicles that not only align with their values, but also seek to deliver meaningful impact in combination with attractive returns.”

Ruben Feldman, CFA, Senior Quantitative Analyst, RobecoSAM: “With this strategy, we ensure an optimally efficient allocation of capital relative to the risks and opportunities represented by SDG impact investing. Our risk/return profile optimization techniques provide our clients with the best level of return for the lowest possible level of risk.”

Impact measurement and reporting

RobecoSAM’s SDG investing offering includes a completely new type of impact reporting. A team of over 20 financial and sustainability analysts have mapped the material impacts of each of the companies in the SDG Universe to specific SDGs, and developed a proprietary set of Key Impact Indicators (KIIs) that demonstrate the value of the SDG contribution. The qualitative SDG impact reporting includes an explanation of the SDG contributions and KIIs. RobecoSAM’s quantitative reports show how many companies in the portfolio contribute to specific SDGs, and compares the portfolio to a standard equity benchmark. These impact reporting capabilities are unique and the information is robust, thanks to RobecoSAM’s comprehensive database of financially material sustainability information.

Founders’ share class offers special management fee

RobecoSAM is convinced, that any assets invested along the SDGs now are better than assets invested in the SDGs tomorrow. That is why RobecoSAM has created a new “founders’ share class”, which aligns the interests of RobecoSAM and its clients to create a measurable, immediate and positive impact. Early investors, who commit to the strategy, will not only be investing alongside the strategy’s seed money, but will also benefit from a competitive management fee of only 0.5% (TER 0.63%). The exclusive “founders’ share class” will close latest after the first EUR 50 million have been entrusted.

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