Dublin-based KBI Global Investors, a specialist in the field of Natural Resources equity investing since 2001, is experiencing a strong flow of assets on the back of the ongoing drive towards more sustainable investing practices.
Early to recognise the inherent source of alpha to be derived from investing in companies providing solutions to sustainability challenges related to the provision of food, energy, water, and critical infrastructure - the mitigation of, and adaptation to the impacts of climate change - KBIGI has welcomed some of the world's biggest and most high-profile investors to its doors in recent months, with a string of new mandates.
• Northern Trust Asset Management has selected KBIGI's Global Sustainable Infrastructure Strategy (‘GSIS') for inclusion in a multi-manager infrastructure mutual fund, and for distribution to its institutional OCIO clients in North America. Northern Trust Asset Management is a global investment manager entrusted with US$1 trillion of investor assets as of 30th June 2022.
• Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc. first became a distribution partner for KBIGI in 2019, investing in its Global Equities Strategy and subsequently the Global Resource Solutions Strategy (which invests across water, agribusiness, and clean energy). Sun Life has now adopted GSIS, broadening the range of specialist investment strategies available to the Canadian market.
• Government of Guam Retirement Fund has awarded KBIGI a new institutional mandate, the sovereign also choosing to invest in GSIS.
• Mediolanum International Funds Limited, based in Ireland is part of the Italian Mediolanum Banking Group and has selected KBIGI as co-manager for its newly launched Circular Opportunities strategy, for distribution in Italy.
The Mediolanum Circular Opportunities Fund focuses on companies that contribute to the transition towards a sustainable circular economy - moving from the Take-Make-Waste economy model to the 3R approach, Reduce-Reuse-Recycle. It is the latest addition to KBIGI's suite of Natural Resources strategies and has been particularly well received by investors.
KBIGI has also struck a new partnership with a large Japanese distributor, through majority shareholder Amundi's Tokyo team. This distributor is using the firm's Water Strategy, Global Energy Transition Strategy and GSIS as part of its Climate Solutions strategy, which is marketed to Japanese retail investors. KBIGI's Water Strategy has been available to Japanese investors since 2007 through Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.
Underlining its vanguard position in the field of responsible investing, KBIGI in 2017 introduced its proprietary Revenue Alignment SDG Scores (‘RASS') research methodology, which calculates the contribution of constituent holdings in its portfolios to delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This significant body of work involves the detailed classification of all revenues of the companies held in each portfolio, determining whether the activity from which those revenues arise is contributing positively or negatively to one or more of the SDGs.
KBIGI retained the highest possible rating for all three relevant modules by the UNPRI in 2021. This included a five-star rating for Investment and Stewardship Policy, a five-star rating for Direct - Listed equity - Active fundamental - incorporation, and a five-star rating for Direct - Listed equity - Active fundamental - voting.
Its global reach covers a portfolio of clients stretching from the UK and Europe to the Americas, Asia, and Australasia - its strategies employed right across its growing client base, whether standalone, blended with other managers and strategies, institutional or retail sub-advisory.
With majority shareholder Amundi, Europe's largest asset management group, helping to open many new doors and further extending the reach of its distribution, KBIGI further said it had seen interest in its Natural Resources strategies and its ESG focus grow to reach new highs over the past three years.
With new mandates totalling €3.4bn secured over the same period for the Natural Resources equity strategies, the firm is currently managing more than €15bn for a broad range of clients - public and corporate pension schemes, sub-advisory investors, foundations and endowments, wealth managers, private banks and investment intermediaries included.
Sean Hawkshaw, CEO at KBI Global Investors said: "Investor mindsets are changing, and the pace is picking up as awareness of natural resources challenges and climate change come to the top of the agenda.
"We have been working for our clients for more than 20 years, to identify compelling opportunities where they can earn good returns by investing in quality companies that provide solutions to these challenges, have a positive impact on society and the environment, and ultimately drive the transition to a more sustainable economy. We're delighted to see the commitment and expertise of our team in Dublin being recognised with the award of these new mandates."