Storebrand, the Norwegian group with some €75bn of assets under management, is set to target the UK market with its Global Multifactor and Global ESG Plus strategies, as it seeks to push out the visibility of its capabilities currently delivered through a multiboutique model that includes Storebrand Funds, Skagen Funds, Delphi Funds and SPP Funds.
Skagen, as part of Storebrand Asset Management, operates as an independent manager, and distributes a number of Storebrand's strategies in the UK as well as its own actively managed equity products. At the group level, Storebrand also is active in life insurance and health insurance in addition to asset management, serving some 1.9 million customers and with a claimed history dating back to 1767.
Jan Erik Saugestad, CEO of Storebrand Asset Management, said: "Sustainable solutions are more attractive than ever and demand across Europe is increasing rapidly. Our expertise in sustainability, smart beta, sustainable index and specialist active products means that we have a unique offering and through our multiboutique platform we are well positioned to provide our solutions to a broader market."
"Storebrand has led the way by investing sustainably at scale for over 20 years and we are excited to extend our reach to include UK investors. The need to address global environmental and social challenges has never been greater and our priority is to deliver sustainable investment solutions which provide clients with optimal risk adjusted returns without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
Tim Heffer, managing director of Skagen Funds, UK, added: "Storebrand has a long history of combining sustainability with innovation and we are delighted to be distributing their successful investment strategies in the UK. In addition to sustainable portfolio solutions, we will continue to offer clients the best possible level of service and communication across our expanded range of complementary products."
Storebrand says it was the first Norwegian manager to establish a dedicated sustainable investment department in 1995, and it has built up an experienced ESG investment team in addition to applying a group-wide sustainable investment policy. This policy is applied to all assets under management according to three pillars: Exclusions, Integration and Active Ownership.
The exclusion policy - termed the Storebrand Standard - prohibits any investment in companies involved in tobacco or weapons, contributing extensively to climate change or with significant revenue from unsustainable products - for example, coal, oil sands, palm oil - or those that violate international laws, conventions and human rights.
Storebrand's proprietary Sustainability Rating system evaluates over 3,000 companies on their ESG risks and opportunities aligned with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. This analysis is then systematically integrated into the investment processes used by portfolio managers to support their decision-making.
The group also looks to cooperate with other investors when engaging with companies, for example, through PRI with Climate Action 100+, PRI Collaborative Engagement on Methane Risk, PRI-Ceres Investor Working Group on Sustainable Soy and Cattle, and PRI Investor Working Group on Sustainable Palm Oil.
It is a signatory of the Montréal Carbon Pledge and Portfolio Decarbonisation Coalition, and has committed to a total exit from coal investments by 2026 in line with the recommendations from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Storebrand Global Multifactor
The Storebrand Global Multifactor strategy seeks to generate strong capital growth through a long only, model based investment approach which combines sustainability with four equally-weighted risk factors; value, size, momentum and low volatility. Launched in November 2013 and managed by Andreas Poole, the fund invests in 300-400 large and mid-cap developed market stocks to create a sector and geography neutral portfolio. Storebrand Multifactor has €1.9bn under management and has delivered annualised sterling returns (illustrated for the UK market entry) of 12.1% since inception, 1.4% ahead of its benchmark MSCI World Index - according to figures provided by Storebrand.
Storebrand Global ESG Plus
The Storebrand Global ESG Plus is a fossil-free global equity strategy that tracks the MSCI World Index. The fund optimises the selection of developed market companies which score highly according to Storebrand's Sustainability Rating, avoiding companies that rank poorly and those that extract fossil fuels or are carbon intensive. Launched in April 2017 and managed by Henrik Wold Nilsen, Storebrand Global ESG Plus has €360m under management and has delivered annualised sterling returns of 5% since inception, in line with the MSCI World Index.
Storebrand Global Solutions
Storebrand Global Solutions is an actively managed global equity portfolio investing in sustainable impact companies. Managed by Philip Ripman, the strategy is fossil free and seeks to generate alpha by identifying businesses from developed and emerging markets that provide solutions to help achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Launched in October 2012, Storebrand Global Solutions has €284m under management and has delivered annualised sterling returns of 13.8% since inception, 1.7% ahead of the MSCI All Country World Index.