U.S. private clients at UBS Global Wealth Management will now have access to two social and environmental impact mutual funds, according to Penta. The UBS Engage for Impact Fund will incorporate ESG screens (which have drawn their share of criticism), to include equity investments in companies investing in things like building sustainable housing, for example. The UBS Sustainable Development Bank Bond Fund purchases bonds issued by development-financing banks across the world, including the World Bank.
The equity fund carries a management fee of 75 basis points, while the fixed income fund carries a 15 basis point fee, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
“Conventional wisdom has long held that investors can’t simultaneously do well on financial performance while doing good for society and the planet,” noted UBS in a sustainable investing white paper from June. “Investors don’t actually have to make this trade-off, with the availability of more data points suggesting that impact and sustainable investing need not negatively impact returns nor introduce additional risks to the portfolio.”
“Development banks generally use their capital for projects that seek to improve the state of the developing world, promote sustainable growth and raise living standards,” the company noted in its SEC filing, while the equities fund portfolio will “exclude securities of companies with more than 5 percent of sales in alcohol, tobacco, defense, nuclear, gambling and pornography.”