Stockholm (NordSIP) – On February 15h, AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) announced the launch of the AXA WF ACT Social Bonds fund that aims to deliver a positive and measurable social impact, managed by Johann Plé (Pictured).
The new fund will invest at least 75% of its capital in social and sustainability bonds, deemed eligible according to AXA IM’s proprietary Green, Social and Sustainable bond (GSSB) framework. The remaining 25% of the funds capital will be invested in “rigorously selected conventional bonds aligned with a positive social impact”. AXA warns that the “Fund will be actively managed with a potentially significant deviation in allocation and performance compared to the ICE Social Bond benchmark index.”
The fund focuses on the three key themes of empowerment to promote access to education as well as employment preservation and creation, inclusion to promote access to basic needs such as clean water, energy, or housing, and health and safety to support broader access to healthcare services.
“In the transition to a low carbon economy, we cannot ignore the social dimension. While most impact investment strategies currently focus on the environment and decarbonisation, we believe the tremendous growth observed in the social and sustainability bond market in recent years is an opportunity to build a dedicated Social Bond strategy and we are proud to launch our first bond fund invested in this space,” Plé said on this occasion.
The asset manager has classified the fund is classified as an Article 9 product according to the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), and has received the French SRI label and the Towards Sustainability Belgium label.
According to AXA, these themes can be mapped onto four of the seventeen United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including “No poverty” (SDG 1), “Good health and well-being” (SDG 3), “Decent work and economic growth” (SDG 8), and “Sustainable cities and communities” (SDG 11).
The fund is registered and available to professional and retail investors in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden as well as in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy (for institutional only as of this date), the Netherlands, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.