Winner of the Ethical/SRI category in the Money Management/Lonsec awards 2012
Leveraging the input of more than 30 investment analysts, we won the Ethical/Socially Responsible Investment category in the Money Management/Lonsec Fund Manager of the Year awards 2012 for the BT Wholesale Ethical Share Fund which is managed by head of equities, Crispin Murray.
Co-portfolio manager of the fund Rajinder Singh said Murray’s experience helped the fund outperform its benchmark by 0.55 per cent for the 12 months to 31 March 2012.
The BT Wholesale Ethical Share Fund employs negative and positive screens to limit the universe of stocks the fund can invest in, Singh said.
The negative screen excludes companies involved in alcohol, tobacco, weapons manufacture and gambling. It also screens out companies that fail on the sustainability front with environmental, human rights or corporate governance breaches, Singh added.
“The positive screen looks for two types of companies: Leaders in their industry that set a standard well above their peers, or companies that are in sustainable industries,” Singh said.
The fund employs Regnan (which is partly owned by BT Investment Management) to carry out its ethical/sustainability research.
“They have over 12 people that specialise in this area, with offices in Sydney and Melbourne,” said Singh.
In addition to the analysts at Regnan, the fund also utilises the BT equities team which consists of over 20 stock-pickers, making it “one of Australia’s largest research teams”, said Singh.
Singh said the fund is receiving increasing interest from investors who are interested in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
“People are realising the benefits of having appropriate corporate governance structures in the companies they’re investing in. There’s no point having a great franchise if the board and management aren’t incentivised or structured the right way,” he said.
The BT Wholesale Ethical Share Fund has funds under management of just under $150 million.
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