KBI Global Investors (KBIGI) has extended its range of Responsible Investing strategies, with the launch of fossil fuel-free versions of its Global, Eurozone and Emerging Markets equity funds.
The new funds are aimed at satisfying the concerns and requirements of a growing band of investors. A recent study, ‘1000 Divestment Commitments and Counting’, from global campaign organisation ‘Fossil Free’, found that more than 1,000 institutions with managed investments worth almost USD8 trillion have committed to divest from fossil fuels. That’s a marked change from the end of 2014 when 181 institutions managing assets in the region of USD50 billion had made such a commitment.
To give the funds a distinct identity within the KBI Global Investors suite, they have adopted the ‘Integris’ brand and will be known as the KBI Integris Global Equity Fund, the KBI Integris Eurozone Equity Fund, and the Skellig Integris Emerging Markets Equity Fund.
As with all KBIGI equity strategies, the Integris fund range fully integrates ESG scores for all stocks in the investment portfolio and will always deliver a portfolio with an ESG score above the index. However, the funds also avoid certain controversial industries and adhere to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ guidelines on investing.
Investors in the funds are typically, but not exclusively, faith-based and have two principal concerns. First and foremost, they believe we are likely to see significant policy change, globally, making it increasingly uneconomic to burn coal, oil or gas – with investors in those companies exposed to considerable losses. Secondly, these investors have no wish to see their funds being used to finance fossil fuel companies, preferring instead to direct their funds towards ‘clean fuel’ companies in the field of renewable energy – solar, wind and hydro power included.
Eoin Fahy (pictured), Head of Responsible Investing at KBI Global Investors, says: “We have three decades of experience in managing Responsible Investing portfolios for our clients, and for certain portfolios already rule out investments in certain controversial industries and activities, such as tobacco and weapons. In adding fossil fuel stocks to that list of exclusions, we are enabling investors to declare their investments to be ‘fossil fuel reserves free’. This affords them the flexibility to make their own decision on this important topic and to implement their investment strategy accordingly.”