Stockholm (NordSIP) – Nordea Asset Management is to drastically expand its staff following a highly successful 2016 in which it saw its AUM rise by 15% (EUR 217 billion) and amid European expansion plans that include further forays into sustainable and ethical investing under its Global Stars brand.
The bank will be introducing a new Swedish fixed-income fund in 2017 called Nordea Swedish Bond Stars, which currently includes 23% green bonds. Global Stars, which was launched in 2016, makes it possible for customers who prioritize the ESG approach to enjoy international exposure. The Nordea Swedish Bond Stars will be Nordea Asset Management’s first enhanced fixed income product.
“This is a very natural step for us. We started with equity and that’s where we have had all focus up until now. But clients who want us to manage their money responsibly and who share our deep belief that environmental, social and governance issues are essential to manage in order to deliver long term returns also want fixed income alternatives to match their allocation strategies,” said Katarina Hammar, co-head of the Responsible Investments team.
The universe for the Nordea Swedish Bond Stars will consist of green bonds and Nordic investment grade bonds where the issuer of the bond has been evaluated by an ESG analyst from the Nordea RI-team, according to Nordea’s annual 2016 report. “Just like the Swedish Stars, Nordic Stars and Global Stars the threshold for investments will be an ESG rating of B+ on a scale from A to C,” the report reads.
Nordea Asset Management is expected to boost its recruitment efforts particularly in the Nordics to complement its new initiatives. “With all the strong growth we have had… I think we’ll add between 50 to 100 new employees this year – everything from middle office and back office to analysts and portfolio managers,” Nils Blomstrand, Head of Asset Management at Nordea, told Bloomberg.
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