Essex Pension Fund partnered with UBS AM and Hymans Robertson to launch the UBS Life Global Equity Sustainable Transition Fund

19 October 2022

Essex Pension Fund has partnered with UBS Asset Management (UBS AM) and Hymans Robertson to launch the UBS Life Global Equity Sustainable Transition Fund, which is available to the wider UK institutional pensions market. As part of the fund’s Net Zero objective, it will invest in companies believed to be best placed for the transition to a low-carbon economy, and with better sustainability characteristics than the FTSE Developed Index benchmark.

Having committed to become Net Zero by 2050, Essex Pension Fund held a full stakeholder review of its investment strategy and concluded that it needed a more holistic approach than the ones offered by the existing indexes and climate-specific solutions.

After identifying its responsible investment priorities, Essex Pension Fund worked with its pensions advisor, Hymans Robertson, and UBS AM to launch a new investment solution that met its requirements.

The resulting UBS Life Global Equity Sustainable Transition Fund seeks to deliver returns broadly in line with the global developed equity markets with better exposure (relative to the Benchmark at rebalance) to metrics that measure:

  • the expected contribution of companies towards climate change;
  • overall ESG scores; and
  • alignment with specific United Nations SDGs (Good Health; Affordable Clean Energy; Decent Work and Economic Growth; Responsible Production and Consumption; and Climate Action).

In addition, the Fund aims to align with the EU Climate Transition Benchmark (CTB) regulation such that its weighted average carbon intensity is lower than the Benchmark or reduces year on year. The fund also excludes companies from the investment universe in line with CTB guidelines and UBS AM sustainability exclusion policy.

Cllr Susan Barker, Chairman of the Essex Pension Fund Strategy Board and Investment Steering Committee (ISC) said: “Essex Pension Fund was delighted to work in partnership with UBS Asset Management and Hymans Robertson to develop an innovative solution that not only aligns with our responsible investment policy and priorities, but is committed to achieving Net Zero targets in the future.”

James Rogers, UK Institutional Client Coverage, UBS Asset Management said: “We are pleased to have worked with Essex Pension Fund to develop this innovative fund, which we believe will also appeal to other UK pension fund investors with similarly ambitious sustainability objectives.”

Simon Jones, Head of Responsible Investment at Hymans Robertson said: “Being responsible stewards of the monies in their care is a key consideration for all our clients. In an area that is particularly fast-moving, it is vital that investors regularly review their approach to integrating responsible investment considerations and we look forward to continuing to work with both Essex Pension Fund and UBS Asset Management in future.”

Source: LGPS - Essex
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