Combining quant and sustainability investing? In 2018, a large, fast growing UK defined contribution multiemployer pension scheme was looking for an efficient factor-based investment solution for its equity portfolio, that would also feature an ambitious sustainability profile, including a values-based exclusion list and a significantly better ESG profile than the market index. Environmental footprint reduction was also among the aspects deemed important by the client.
One very particular request from this pension trust was that, for cost and transparency reasons, it wanted the solution to be managed in the form of a bespoke index, that could be replicated. At the same time, however, the client was aware of the pitfalls of generic products offered by index providers, in particular in terms of practical implementation. The client was therefore more inclined to consider a solution run by an active asset manager.
Meanwhile, Robeco had already been closely working with the scheme’s consultant, for several years at the time, conveying our approach to efficiently harvesting factor premiums in a sustainable way. As a result, turning to our Factor Index offering came as a natural move for this client.
The chosen solution, Robeco Global Sustainable Multi-Factor Equities Index, harvests factor premiums in a systematic manner, allocating to individual stocks based on four factors: value, momentum, quality, and low volatility. The strategy also considers ESG and environmental footprint attributes of each stock and the overall portfolio as key parts of the index construction.
The involvement of RobecoSAM’s teams during the selection process was important to convince the client
More specifically, on top of applying RobecoSAM’s standard exclusion list, the strategy also targets an ESG score that is 20% better than that of the benchmark. It also targets a 20% reduction of the portfolio’s environmental footprint in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, water consumption and waste generation. The involvement of RobecoSAM’s teams during the selection process was important to convince the client that the sustainability component of the mandate was of the highest quality.
The information contained in the website is solely intended for professional investors. Some funds shown on this website fall outside the scope of the Dutch Act on the Financial Supervision (Wet op het financieel toezicht) and therefore do not (need to) have a license from the Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM).
The funds shown on this website may not be available in your country. Please select your country website (top right corner) to view the products that are available in your country.
Neither information nor any opinion expressed on the website constitutes a solicitation, an offer or a recommendation to buy, sell or dispose of any investment, to engage in any other transaction or to provide any investment advice or service. An investment in a Robeco product should only be made after reading the related legal documents such as management regulations, prospectuses, annual and semi-annual reports, which can be all be obtained free of charge at this website and at the Robeco offices in each country where Robeco has a presence.