US-headquartered investment firm Brown Advisory has launched a Ucits version of its US Sustainable Growth fund.
The Brown Advisory US Sustainable Growth strategy was launched in 2009, with a US mutual fund launched in 2012. It is run by co-portfolio managers Karina Funk and David Powell.
The fund approach relies on an investment research methodology seeking to invest at the intersection of positive fundamental and sustainable business drivers.
Among key attributes of the fund remain :
• Risk-adjusted returns: alpha generated by rigorous stock selection, and relatively high active share and low tracking error
• Downside protection: portfolio construction protects capital in down markets
• Proactive sustainable approach: proprietary research into positive sustainability drivers provides informational advantage in identifying secular drivers of growth
• Long-term investors: valuation conscious, patient, low turnover
• Fossil-fuel-free strategy: zero tolerance policy on fossil fuels
• ESG Screens: provide an extra layer of precaution regarding certain controversial business activities
In addition, the US Sustainable Growth Fund imposes a set of negative screens which include adherence to the UN Global Compact Principles, a zero tolerance policy to controversial weapons, fossil fuels and non-medical animal testing.
A number of sector-based screens are applied to limit exposure to military equipment, alcohol, tobacco, adult entertainment and gambling.
Brown Advisory has bolstered its sustainable investing focus through the last decade. In 2009, the firm has acquired SRI boutique Winslow Management Company then it signed the UN principles for responsible investment in 2014. It is also an investor signatory on the Carbon Disclosure Project, amongst other partnerships.
Last year, Brown Advisory has set up a sustainable investing advisory board gathering academics, policy experts and practitioners to help guide the development of our sustainable investing solutions over time.
Karina Funk, co-portfolio manager and head of Sustainable Investing at Brown Advisory, said: “Sustainable investing does not compromise investment returns. We proactively use proprietary research to uncover positive sustainability drivers which we believe give us an informational advantage in identifying secular drivers of growth.”
David Powell, co-portfolio Manager, added: “Companies in the energy and utilities space do not typically meet our growth investment criteria nor do these business activities fit with our environmentally sustainable philosophy.” As a direct result of this performance-focused investment philosophy, the US Sustainable Growth UCITS Fund commits to being fossil-fuel-free.
Logie Fitzwilliams, head of Brown Advisory’s London office commented: “We are excited to be able to offer this strategy to investors outside the US via our Ucits platform. Demand for sustainable investing continues to grow and we believe our long history and dedication to this philosophy enables us to work with all types of clients to align their investment goals with their beliefs.”
Brown Advisory has been founded in 1993 as an affiliate of US investment bank Alex. Brown & Sons before becoming independent in 1998.