Legg Mason launches responsible investment fund

Legg Mason has released a new responsible investment fund for Australian investors to meet a growing demand for access to positive ESG analysis.

The asset manager has launched the Legg Mason QS Investors Global Responsible Investment Fund to meet market demand for a fund that embeds positive ESG analysis alongside ethical restrictions.

The fund utilises the expertise of affiliate QS investors, whose approach is a blend of fundamental and behavioural perspectives through a systematic process for more dependable outcomes. 

Legg Mason head of Australia and New Zealand Andy Sowerby said it was a privilege to offer this capability, which had two distinct features, to Australian investors

“First, it fully integrates a proprietary model of ESG assessment that enables companies to be ranked and reviewed through multiple lenses to assess their effectiveness across the ESG spectrum – a systematic process that then focuses research and investments in those companies scoring highly in this regard,” he said. 

“Second, a strict filter is applied across the investment universe to remove companies that do not meet certain ethical criteria. The exclusion list encompasses several sectors including tobacco, gambling, alcohol, defence and weapons, fur, genetically modified crops, nuclear energy, oil sands and thermal coal.” 

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These restrictions allow investors to align their values with their investment returns, said Mr Sowerby. 

“The additional restrictions on certain sectors and stocks on ethical grounds makes this investment solution an ideal core holding for investors seeking to align their values and investments without sacrificing the potential for high returns,” he said. 

The fund will aim to outperform the MSCI World ESG Leaders Index, and QS Investors were the best people to deliver that, said Mr Sowerby. 

“The marriage of a clear investment philosophy, disciplined investment process and proven investment team that focuses on identifying those companies with the best ESG credentials at attractive valuations is a powerful combination,” he said.

Legg Mason launches responsible investment fund
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Eliot Hastie

Eliot Hastie

Eliot Hastie is a journalist at Momentum Media, writing primarily for its wealth and financial services platforms. 

Eliot joined the team in 2018 having previously written on Real Estate Business with Momentum Media as well.

Eliot graduated from the University of Westminster, UK with a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism).

You can email him on: [email protected]

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