Neuberger Berman Enhances ESG Offering With Global & European Sustainable Equity UCITS Funds Launch
London, March 8 2021 — Neuberger Berman, a private, independent, employee-owned investment manager, is launching two sustainable equity UCITS funds managed by the top-performing* portfolio managers hired in November 2020.
The Neuberger Berman Global Sustainable Equity and European Sustainable Equity funds will implement a proven investment philosophy and process honed over 16 years. The management team of Hendrik-Jan Boer, Alex Zuiderwijk and Jeroen Brand, were early adopters of ESG investing and previously managed over $10 billion in global and European equity strategies. Following the implementation of the French and European ESG regulations, both will be classified under the French ‘significant engaging methodology’ and EU Article 9, as at 10 March 2021.
The high conviction funds, which will typically hold 30-60 stocks, will seek to invest in quality companies where sustainability reinforces returns. The team adopts a rigorous, forward-looking assessment of material ESG factors and deep bottom-up research focused on value chain economics. As truly active owners, the team will seek an ‘active share’ greater than 75% and focus its engagement with management based on strategy, competitive environment, outlook, innovation, remuneration, governance and sustainability.
The portfolio managers will be supported by a four-strong team of career analysts focused on bottom-up assessment with a value chain lens, across fintech & financial inclusion, energy transition, digital enterprise, conscious consumer and access to healthcare.
The fund’s team will also work closely with the firm’s ESG investing team and benefit from the depth of expertise across Neuberger Berman’s $101 billion equities platform. The firm’s centralised global equity research department comprises 48 dedicated research professionals, with 41 senior research analysts averaging 19 years of experience.
Hendrik-Jan Boer, lead portfolio manager, says: “Rapid societal and technological change is driving corporate evolution and creating value chain disruption. We are seeing increasing growth in what we call ‘conscious consumers’, who are holding corporations and governments to account through consumption behaviour, elections and activism. This coupled with active regulators implementing new directives across borders to address ESG issues is driving a new wave of high-quality opportunities for sustainable investors.”
Dik van Lomwel, head of EMEA and Latin America, adds: “The strong demand for sustainable investment solutions is well documented and the team’s high active share approach is attractive to investors who are looking to allocate to high conviction strategies. The new funds complement our growing ESG offering across asset classes which includes emerging market debt, global high yield securities and Japanese equities.
“More than 80% of our total assets under management are now ESG integrated, up from 60% in 2019. In October 2020, we were awarded top scores (straight A+) in the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) assessment report for the second consecutive year, and were named a 2020 PRI Leader, a designation awarded to fewer than 1% of investment managers.”
Counterparty Risk: The risk that a counterparty will not fulfil its payment obligation for a trade, contract or other transaction on the due date.
Currency Risk: Investors who subscribe in a currency other than the base currency of the portfolio are exposed to currency risk. Fluctuations in exchange rates may affect the return on investment.
Liquidity Risk: The risk that the portfolio may be unable to sell an investment readily at its fair market value.
Market Risk: The risk of a change in the value of a position as a result of underlying market factors, including among other things, the overall performance of companies and the market perception of the global economy.
Single Country Risk: Where a portfolio invests primarily in a single country, it may be subject to greater risk and above-average market volatility than an investment in a broader range of securities covering multiple countries.
Operational Risk: The risk of direct or indirect loss resulting from inadequate or failed processes, people and systems, including those relating to the safekeeping of assets or from external events.
Sustainable Risk: The strategy may focus on investments in companies that relate to certain sustainable development themes and demonstrate adherence to environmental, social and corporate governance practices. This may mean the universe of securities from which the strategy can invest in may be smaller than that of other strategies and may underperform the market as a result.
*Citywire AA rated as at February 2021.
About Neuberger Berman
Neuberger Berman, founded in 1939, is a private, independent, employee-owned investment manager. The firm manages a range of strategies—including equity, fixed income, quantitative and multi-asset class, private equity, real estate and hedge funds—on behalf of institutions, advisors and individual investors globally. With offices in 24 countries, Neuberger Berman’s diverse team has over 2,300 professionals. For six consecutive years, the company has been named first or second in Pensions & Investments Best Places to Work in Money Management survey (among those with 1,000 employees or more). In 2020, the PRI named Neuberger Berman a Leader, a designation awarded to fewer than 1% of investment firms for excellence in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices. The PRI also awarded Neuberger Berman an A+ in every eligible category for our approach to ESG integration across asset classes. The firm manages $405 billion in client assets as of December 31, 2020. For more information, please visit our website at www.nb.com.
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