AXA IM launches green bond fund

AXA IM has announced the launch of the AXA WF Planet Bonds fund, a green bond fund aiming to support clients’ transition to a low carbon economy and give investors access to the global green bonds market.

The AXA WF Planet Bonds fund, targeting institutional and retail investors, is domiciled in Luxembourg and is registered for distribution in France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK .

This non-benchmarked strategy invests in both pure green bonds and bond issuers with a high environmental impact. It is run by AXA IM’s Global Rates team in collaboration with the Responsible Investment (RI) team.

Issuers in the eligible investment universe are ranked according to AXA IM’s internal ESG (environment, social and governance) assessment process to determine which issuers have high environmental conviction and therefore present a solid case for green investment.

AXA IM has already invested €1bn in the green bond market. The responsible investment adventure started in 1997 for the firm when it won its first RI specific mandate. In 2001, AXA IM launched a dedicated RI business unit and in 2006 a global RI team was established.

Then the strategy for including RI principles as part of a wider range of investment strategies at AXA IM was formalised in 2010 leading to comprehensive ESG integration and large dedicated mandates in this segment by 2014.

Commenting on the launch, Andrea Rossi, CEO of AXA Investment Managers, said: “AXA IM has been a pioneer of responsible investing for almost 20 years. Meeting our clients’ needs requires continued efforts to understand and anticipate changing factors that impact financial markets as well as the objectives of our clients. This includes climate change.

“As long term investors we recognise the threat of climate change and the need to mitigate the potential impact on the global economy. Global companies, as influential stakeholders, have a key role to play, being international corporate citizens.

“Climate change is just one of the criteria by which we monitor and, if needed, engage with companies. We are also able to support clients’ transition to a low carbon economy, for example, through offering investment in green bonds. We also help our clients screen and score based on ESG criteria including carbon.

“We believe that being a responsible asset manager is fundamental for sustainable, long term investment success. As an official Cop 21 sponsor, the AXA Group has made strong commitments to help mitigate climate change, for instance by tripling its green investments by 2020. AXA IM is fully supportive of these initiatives and is working closely with the AXA group to achieve these goals.”

Matt Christensen, head of Responsible Investment at AXA IM, added: “AXA IM has many years of experience in responsible investment and today’s launch once again highlights our commitment to green initiatives. We have created a fund for investors to have an alternative to conventional investing that offers the opportunity to make specific environmental investments as climate change becomes a major issue for all of us.

“Additionally, this solution also offers the possibility for investors to be aware of the type of projects that will be financed through their investment, including wind farms, green commercial buildings, public transport solutions and waste water systems.”

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