At ETHENEA, our commitment to provide our clients with responsible investment solutions that offer competitive and sustainable returns is reflected in all of our investment policies, processes, and practices.
To formalise this commitment further, in November 2017, we became a signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). We firmly believe that the six principles set out by the PRI will support our goal of delivering long-term sustainable value for our clients. Having already excluded investments in tobacco within the Ethna Funds since mid-2013, we subsequently signed the Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge in January 2019.
We made our most recent commitment to the importance of sustainability in our products in March 2021. Both the three Ethna funds and the HESPER FUND – Global Solutions are classified as Article 8 funds under the new EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, and are therefore subject to increased transparency in the implementation of their ESG objectives.
With regard to ESG criteria, we use the three steps outlined below in our decision-making when selecting securities for our portfolios. In order to ensure we have the necessary information for this process (in terms of both quantity and quality), we work with Sustainalytics, an independent and specialised company that carries out ESG research on our behalf.
1. Broad exclusion
Using the PRI, research provided by Sustainalytics, and our own proprietary dataset, we exclude companies whose core business is in one of the following areas:
Furthermore, we do not invest in a company if serious infringements of the principles of the UN Global Compact have been identified and there is no convincing plan in place to remedy the situation.
In the case of sovereign issuers, we exclude investments in bonds issued by countries that have been designated ‘Not Free’ in the annual analysis carried out by Freedom House.
2. Exclusion based on overall ESG assessment
In addition to the first exclusion, which is primarily based on the company’s products, in a second step we exclude issuers of equities and bonds whose overall ESG assessment does not meet the minimum threshold for our combined environmental, social, and government requirements.
3. Individual ESG analysis
Finally, as an integral part of the investment decision regarding every single security, we look at individual issuers of equities and bonds and review their results in each category – environmental, social and governance. As with the more traditional parameters for expected risk and return, we also consider ESG criteria when assessing the suitability of investments for our portfolios. This allows us to raise the overall sustainability of our portfolios to a higher level without compromising risk or return.
These measures enable us to make an active contribution to a sustainable future.