GLG Partners will become the latest hedge fund manager to manage a traditional investment vehicle aimed at retail investors with the launch of the Virgin Climate Change Leaders Fund, promoted by Virgin Money, at the beginning of next year.
The fund will invest in companies with lighter than average environmental footprints in their sectors as well as firms that provide, manufacture or own solutions to environmental problems. GLG will combine its own company research with data provided by the independent environmental consultancy Trucost in selecting suitable stocks for investment.
GLG has managed a similar fund for institutions and ultra high net worth individuals since March this year. To date the GLG Environment Fund has outperformed its benchmark, the MSCI Europe Index.
'We are thrilled to be partnering with Virgin Money on their first ever foray into offering investors access to actively managed funds,' says Pierre Lagrange, co-founder of GLG and co-manager of the GLG Environment Fund with Ben Funnell.
'The Virgin Climate Change Leaders Fund provides investors with the unique ability to combine a commitment to environmentally sound investing with the competitive advantages of the GLG Partners investment process.'
The fund is aimed at investors looking for high performance from companies delivering growth and value through a significant environmental focus and strategy. Says Virgin Money chief executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia: 'Customers will be able to invest in companies at the forefront of reducing their environmental footprint, but without having to compromise on performance.'
GLG's focus is on preserving clients' capital and achieving consistent, superior absolute returns with low volatility and low correlation to both the equity and fixed-income markets. At the end of September, GLG managed gross assets totalling USD22bn.
The GLG Environment Fund identifies and invests primarily in European companies that have a lighter carbon footprint or cost to the environment, using a combination of GLG's stock selection process and the GLG green filter developed with Trucost, which provides data, analysis and advice for institutional investors, corporations and government and has standardised comparable data on more than 4,000 companies globally.