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Neuberger Berman enhances its offering with ESG funds

Responsible investment continues to be a theme that attracts not only investors but also fund managers who are continuing a process that began years ago. Climate impact investing had been put on hold with COVID-19, but the goal remains and Europe continues to play a key role. Neuberger Berman was named a PRI leader. As part of this effort, Neuberger Berman continues to enhance its ESG product offering and announces the launch of new funds

Olivia McCall

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Neuberger Berman, an independent asset manager, is strengthening its ESG offering with the launch of two sustainable investment funds: Neuberger Berman Global Sustainable Equity and European Sustainable Equity funds, which will implement an investment philosophy and process tested and refined over 16 years by the team coming from NN IP, which joined the NB manager in November 2020 and consists of three Citywire AA-rated managers Hendrik-Jan Boer, Alex Zuiderwijk and Jeroen Brand and who were among the first to adopt ESG investing (i.e. according to environmental, social and corporate governance criteria) and had already managed more than $10 billion in global and European investment strategies. After applying French and European ESG regulations, both funds will be classified under the French “meaningful engagement methodology” and EU Article 9 as of March 10th, 2021. 

The funds are high conviction and, under normal circumstances, will hold between 30 and 60 companies and seek to invest in quality companies where sustainability incentivizes returns. The team assesses key ESG factors in a rigorous and forward-looking manner and performs bottom-up analysis focusing on the economics of the value chain. As truly active owners, the team will encourage “hands-on involvement” of more than 75% and will focus its engagement with management based on strategy, competitive environment, outlook, innovation, compensation, governance, and sustainability.

The managers will have a team of four professional analysts focused on evaluating companies by combining the bottom-up approach with value chain criteria. The fund team will also work closely with the company’s ESG investment team and will benefit from the vast experience accumulated by Neuberger Berman’s $101 billion equity manager.

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Hendrik-Jan Boer, lead manager states that “rapid social and technological change is driving corporate evolution and disrupting the value chain. There are more and more ‘conscious consumers’, who are holding corporations and governments accountable in terms of consumer behavior, internal choices and activism. Coupled with the activity of legislators enacting new international directives to address environmental, social and governance issues, this is triggering a new wave of high quality opportunities for sustainable investors.”

Dik van Lomwel, Head of EMEA & Latin America, adds, “It is clear that there is strong demand for sustainable investment solutions, and the team’s intense hands-on approach is attractive to investors looking to allocate high-conviction strategies. The new funds complement our growing ESG offering across asset classes, such as emerging market debt, global high yield debt and Japanese equities.”

According to data provided by the fund manager itself, the number of total assets under management incorporating ESG criteria was 60% in 2019 and now stands at 80%.

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(Featured image by geralt via Pixabay)

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First published in Ei ESTRATEGIAS de INVERSION, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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Olivia McCall is passionate about education, women and children’s rights, and the environment. A long-time investor, she covers news about the latest stocks (lately marijuana and tech), IPOs and indices, and is always on the lookout for socially responsible startups. She also writes about the food sector, and has a keen interest on cryptocurrencies.