Katy Owen explores the Standard Life European Ethical Equity Fund
As a welcomed distraction from all the political coverage of late, we thought it would be a good time for another instalment of our ‘Fund in the Spotlight’ series.
In this issue we are looking at the Standard Life European Ethical Equity fund. This fund is included within our range of ethical benchmarks and not our mainstream offerings. However, the fund performance is truly encouraging and we feel that it really illustrates why the ethical funds can now stack up against their mainstream competitors whilst also making investors feel better about where they put their money.
I recently met with David McMaster of Standard Life investments who explained just how enthusiastic the ethical fund team are about what they do. This is very important to us at Thomas and Thomas and something we hold in common with the Standard Life ethical investment team.
Standard Life have a simple but strict approach to ethical investing. This starts with a ‘no compromise’ ethical screening criteria which is driven by their customers’ views, the research of which is carried out by an independent company and supported by their experienced research team.
Customer interaction is significant to the development of the Standard Life ethical funds. They carry out regular investor surveys to establish what areas they feel is of most importance.
Interestingly, the most recent survey uncovered that human rights abuses, sustainability of forest commodities, intensive farming and animal welfare has become increasingly important to their ethical customers.
By contrast, they found that business ethics, alcohol and involvement in weapons deteriorated in importance. The investment team uses these outcomes to immediately amend the fund strategy, resulting in a fund which is very much tailored to the investor.
The Standard Life European Ethical Equity fund sits within the Europe Excluding UK sector. Over the past 12 months this sector has faced many political uncertainties with the outcomes all resulting in favourable results for the markets. To this end the sector is up 26.6%* on the year. The Standard Life European Ethical Equity did well against its mainstream competitors growing by 29.4%* over the same time period.
With Europe starting to look a little more stable, the future looks positive for the Standard Life European Ethical Equity and we will continue to monitor the intriguing survey results and trends to help with our own portfolio construction.
As always, we are delighted to discuss funds and recent investing trends with our clients both at their regular reviews and over the phone. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need to know anything further.
With best wishes
*According to Trustnet 24-07-17