Robeco and RobecoSAM launch Global SDG Credits strategy

Robeco and RobecoSAM announce the launch of the RobecoSAM Global SDG Credits strategy. This strategy aims to help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to outperform the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Corporate Index. The fund leverages on Robeco and RobecoSAM’s long history in Sustainability Investing (SI) and extensive in-house expertise.

The innovative fund uses RobecoSAM’s newly developed and proprietary SDG framework and builds on Robeco’s successful credit capability with its flagship global credit fund. The fund integrates financially material ESG information of the issuers in the fundamental analyses, applies an extensive values-based exclusion policy and will only invest in bonds of corporates which have a positive or at least neutral SDG rating. Besides traditional bonds, the fund will also invest in green bonds with an attractive performance potential. In addition, dedicated active ownership specialists engage with companies on the different SDG themes.

The proprietary SDG framework consists of a three-step approach: firstly, it determines at the extent to which companies’ products and services contribute to the SDGs. Secondly, the analysts confirm that how the firm operates is compatible with the SDGs; and thirdly, a check is done to ensure whether the company has not been involved in controversies such as oil spills, fraud or bribery. The result of this three-step analysis is expressed as an SDG score. Robeco’s credit analysts and RobecoSAM’s SI analysts have done a mapping exercise of some 450 credits. 62% of the issuers have been assessed as making a positive contribution, and our research has proven that there are more than sufficient issuers to create a well-diversified global credit portfolio that has a positive impact on the SDGs.

The proprietary impact reporting provides a summary of the overall impact of the portfolio compared to the benchmark. The impact reporting is organized into five categories: basic needs, healthy planet, sustainable society, equality & opportunity, and robust institutions.

Jan Willem de Moor, Portfolio Manager RobecoSAM Global SDG Credits, said: “SI and Credit Investing is at the heart of what we do. I firmly believe that it is possible to contribute towards achieving the SDGs while generating competitive returns. We already integrate ESG information into the fundamental analysis of the issuers for all of our credit strategies, so to combine SI and Credit investing with the SDG component is very exciting.”

Jacob Messina, CFA, Head of Sustainability Investing Research, RobecoSAM, said: “The SDGs have given asset owners a new lens through which to view the impacts of their investments. RobecoSAM is at the forefront of this conversation, helping define impact in the context of publicly traded securities. Although SDG investing is different from traditional impact investing in many ways, it is an important addition to the product offerings available to sustainable investing clients, providing the scale and financial returns required by the world’s largest investors.”

Robeco has a long history in global fixed income investing. As of the end of December 2017, Robeco manages EUR 41 billion in fixed income, of which EUR 28 billion in credits. A dedicated global team of over 30 investment professionals located in Rotterdam, London, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong manages European and global investment grade credit portfolios.

RobecoSAM is the investment specialist that has focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing (SI) for over 22 years, with a Sustainability Investing Research team and a database covering 600 financially relevant ESG data points of over 4,500 companies. RobecoSAM Global SDG Credits is domiciled in Luxembourg and available to institutional and retail investors, and to wholesale distributors in key markets upon investors demand.

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