Investec’s Global Sustainable Equity (GSE) Fund prioritises investment into companies doing good, with the aim of helping investors do well. By investing in companies that operate in line with and actively enable the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), investors will be ensuring that there’s a future for the planet and its people.
The SDGs were adopted in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that, by 2030, all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The 17 SDGs are underpinned by 169 individual targets, which have been encoded into governmental action plans. They represent observable and tangible opportunities for companies to offer solutions and services to help achieve them.
“Through the Investec GSE Fund, investors are able to invest in companies that we believe can provide attractive investment returns over the long-term, through the lens of the SDG framework,” says Investec Wealth and Investment fund manager Barry Shamley. “Investment is, by nature, a long-term commitment that aims to guarantee future wealth. By investing in the Investec GSE Fund, investors combine growing wealth with helping create a positive, sustainable global environment.”
The Investec GSE Fund’s impact is calculated using the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) SDG Impact methodology, with the scores of individual companies assessed by ISS considering positive and negative contributions of revenue, operations and controversies towards the SDGs. The Fund’s overall score is +3.8, against the benchmark – MSCI World – of 0.5, delivering a 100% net positive impact against the SDGs.
“The link between sustainability and performance is closer than many think,” says Shamley. “Business practices and outputs that are aligned with the SDGs provide a net positive outcome for the planet and its people while aiming to deliver positive returns. Investec has a two-decade-long history of robust, sustainable internal practices. This long journey towards better practice and behaviour has been extensively documented in its Sustainability Report.
“This history of sustainable business practices was leading us down the path of committing to the broader SDG goals, but the pandemic accelerated the need for immediate action, putting an even brighter spotlight on issues like inequality, food security and access to healthcare than ever before,” says Shamley. “We wanted to be sure that when we launched a related Fund, it was the best it could possibly be – and we’re confident that the opportunity to invest in a Fund that has a net positive impact on the planet while aiming to generate significant returns is an easy bet for investors.”
Concentrated in 30-50 holdings and aiming for quality growth, the Investec GSE Fund’s investment universe is listed global securities including equities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other regulated collective investment schemes.
Benchmarked against the MSCI World Index on a US dollar base currency, the fund invites a minimum investment of US$10 000 for Class A and US$3 000 000 for Class B.
Alongside the establishment of the Investec GSE Fund, Investec has launched the Class of 2030 initiative, pairing a diverse and representative mix of people from South Africa and the UK – the learners – with experts on the SDGs – the tutors – hoping to educate people about the aims of the SDGs. By creating a space where the learners can fully grasp the essential nature of the SDGs by learning from thought leaders in the right spaces, they’ll be educated from the point of not knowing what an SDG is, to becoming ambassadors and experts who can amplify the message and inspire the other 7.8 billion people who make up Earth’s population, to do the same.
To see how the Class of 2030 is taking charge of the planet’s future, follow @TheClassof2030 on Instagram.