31 March 2010

Australian Ethical to launch Climate Advocacy Fund

Reposted in full from Ethical Investor e-letter, 29 March 2010

'Australian Ethical Investment plans to launch the Climate Advocacy Fund (CAF) later this year, targeting Australia’s biggest 200 publicly listed companies in order to improve their climate change performance, director James Thier said.

Speaking at a roadshow in Lismore, NSW, Thier said the fund will table resolutions on climate change at company annual general meetings (AGMs). The CAF charter has been explicitly drawn-up to give the trustees of the fund a mandate to monitor the climate performance of its investments. This is to ensure that trustees can move away from a narrow definition of fiduciary duty that only considers an investment’s financial performance.

The fund will build up its activity over time and plans to bring three or four resolutions in its first year. The resolutions will aim to raise company and shareholder awareness of the business and other risks created by climate change.

The CAF represents a departure in style for Australia Ethical Investment, which normally invests in only the top environmental and social performers in any given investment class. The funds will invest in all companies in the ASX200 no matter their individual performance, with the hope of lifting the collective response of Australia’s biggest companies to climate change.

The fund will be open to retail investors with as little as $5000 and will aim to match the indexed performance of the ASX 200, Thier said. The index will follow a new method designed by US-based Research Affiliates, called the RealIndex.

The fund will also be open to wholesale investors including superannuation funds.'

1 comment:

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