Storebrand Chief: A “True Shift” in Sustainability

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Stockholm (NordSIP) – “I have never seen a group of funds grow at this rate before,” Storebrand Asset Management CEO Jan Erik Saugestad exclaims. He’s referring to Storebrand’s fossil free funds, which Storebrand began launching two years ago. “From initially being a niche product, it has become an obvious building block in many sustainable investment portfolios.”

Among others, Storebrand AM, the largest investor in Norway with $89 billion in AUM, launched Storebrand Global ESG last September, a global equity fund aiming for long-term capital growth by focusing on companies that maintain strong environmental, social and corporate governance credentials. The fund is index-based with UCITS status, invests in about 700 of the approximately 1600 companies in the MSCI world index, and has a management fee of just 0.4%.

- Promotion -

In December, at Emmanuel Macron’s ‘One Planet’ summit, Storebrand announced the launch of Storebrand Global Kreditt IG (UCITS), a fossil-free, actively managed bond fund investing in international corporate bonds issued by financial institutions and industrial companies within the OECD. The fund excludes investments in the energy sector.

The growth in Storebrand’s funds come from increased customer demand and its own defined strategy to move assets in a low carbon direction. Storebrand Group’s total AUM in fossil free investments now amounts to $7.6 billion, representing 8.5% of its total AUM.

“We invest in these funds to diversify our clients’ climate risk through lowering their CO2 exposure. We also see an increased amount of clients with a specific low carbon investment strategy.”

“The development is a clear signal that a true shift in sustainable investments is on its way and that our clients wish to further act upon their growing concern for climate change,” Saugestad added.

That development has been building for a number of months through Storebrand initiatives expanding from the Nordics.

“We have experienced fantastic growth in Sweden and Norway over the past years, creating good conditions for international expansion,” Saugestad said in February. “We are particularly satisfied with the strong demand for sustainable solutions in our home markets and we know there is a great demand outside Sweden and Norway. This is an area [in which] we have headstrong recognition as an international investor.”

Image: (c) Storebrand

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In the current economic environment, even the strongest companies will face challenges from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps now more than ever, understanding the factors that could have a material impact on a company’s sustainability will play a role in investment decision-making.

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