Janus Henderson launches sustainable equity ETF
Global asset manager Janus Henderson (ASX:JHG) this week announced the launch of its three-decades-old sustainable equity strategy. With about $569 billion in assets under management, the group is among the global leaders in fixed income and equity markets.
The Janus Henderson Global Sustainable Equity Strategy, which currently has $4.9 billion in assets under management, will be launched as both an unlisted fund and an ASX-listed exchange traded fund. The innovative approach means the ETF will be available within increasingly popular managed account structures.
Trading under the ASX code FUTR, the strategy seeks to deliver investors an exposure to “global companies that are positioned to confront the challenges posed by megatrends (such as climate change, resource constraints, population growth and ageing populations), and those seeking to transform the industries in which they operate to support a sustainable international economy.”
Despite little fanfare in Australia, the fund has been running for some thirty years, making Janus Henderson’s sustainable equity team, headed by Hamish Chamberlayne, among the most experienced in the world. It comes shortly after the Responsible Investment Association of Australia (RIAA) highlighted that growth in responsible investment strategies is running at more than fifteen times the broader market. Interestingly, the fund itself has seen assets under management triple in the last two years alone.
FUTR seeks to provide Australian retail investors the opportunity to invest in companies whose activities benefit from the transition to greater global sustainability. But most importantly, the fund seeks to help “investors stay on the right side of disruption.”
According to the media release, the Global Sustainable Equity ETF aims to provide capital growth by investing in companies whose products and services are considered as contributing to positive environmental or social change and thereby have an impact on the development of a sustainable global economy.
The ETF’s high-conviction portfolio of 50-70 companies carries a carbon footprint that is 85% less than that of the MSCI World Index. Carbon intensity continues to grow in popularity as a key measure of ESG credentials around the world, albeit with limited coverage in Australia.
With the most common reason for investors and advisers alike being the persistent belief that “sustainable investing means you have to give up some returns,” prospective investors may be shocked to learn that the fund is ranked in the top Morningstar decile over both three and five years.
Commenting on the launch, Chamberlayne says, “2021 marks the 30-year anniversary of the Global Sustainable Equity strategy. Our active approach has sustainability embedded the whole way through our investment process, from universe definition to portfolio construction and active ownership. We consider a strong engagement ethos as being essential to any truly sustainable investment strategy.”
Companies currently held within the portfolio include Atlassian, Adobe, Humana, ASML and Shimano, showing the broad global diversification.