Industry Investment Technology

A New Wave of ESG Investment Products Launch in the Wake of COVID-19 – Part 1

UBS Asset Management Adds New Global Credit ETF

UBS has begun offering a new global corporate bond ETF. It is based on the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Corporates index, with the index’s issuers screened based on a minimum sustainability rating criteria.

While proponents of ESG activity prefer to place emphasis upon more proactive, impact driven investing, UBS’ approach to sustainability with this ETF could viewed as an effective means to accessing complex, and non-transparent global credit markets for ethically minded investors. The ETF’s design also aligns extremely well with the passive philosophy of the ETF, a product growing in esteem in the investing mainstream.

Andrew Walsh, head of UBS passive and ETF specialist sales for the UK and Ireland, UBS AM, said: “We have seen how ESG ETFs outperformed their ‘standard’ peers during the volatility caused by the coronavirus pandemic and investors are increasingly demanding sustainability aspects to products. With this launch, we are able to provide a core ESG exposure based on a significant and widely used portfolio building block that caters to clients’ needs.”

Morgan Stanley Launches New Sustainable Fund

Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM) have launched a new fund which will seek to make a positive impact while offering what they believe will be high returns and limited downside risks. To be managed by the bank’s global balanced risk control team, and built from global equities, fixed income securities, money market instruments and cash, the fund will also aim to align with the Paris accord and assign 5-30% of assets with managers targeting positive ESG outcomes.

The fund will also engage companies in dialogues and vote in favour of ESG measures on boards. Emily Chew, global head of sustainability at MSIM, said: “Although sustainable investing has grown rapidly, there remain few options for investors who need a multi-asset solution in the public markets space. The Global Balanced Sustainable fund combines thoughtfulness of approach to multi-asset ESG integration, with the credibility of the Paris-aligned target – a goal that is ever more top of mind in an era of climate change.”

Ethical Money Acquired by Square Mile

Square Mile investment consulting and research, a London-based investment consultancy, with a mission statement focused on exclusionary, sustainability and impact-based investment has recently acquired Ethical Money Limited, as well as its trading arm 3D Investing.

3D is a global expert in the evaluation of the impacts of investments along ESG parameters, a key component in the evolution of efficient ESG capital allocation. The firm’s experience and expertise is hoped to enhance Square Mile’s ability to help asset managers build high-impact investment funds. Further, 3D’s mission statement: ‘doing good, avoiding harm and leading change’, indicates a strong cultural alignement with it’s aquirer.

“Responsible and impact investing are now a central consideration for growing numbers of advisers and their clients. For many, the potential for contributing to a better society and protecting the environment is just as important as a financial gain.  However, it is equally important for investors to be able to quantify the impact for good that their investments have.  3D Investing has built a highly regarded centre of excellence for assessing this impact. This acquisition was particularly attractive to Square Mile as it enables us to broaden and deepen our research and the services, we provide our clients.” Said Richard Romer-Lee Managing Director of Square Mile.


  1. James Baxter-Derrington, Investment Week June 2020
  2. Institutional Asset Manager June 2020
  3. Andrew Sullivan, IFA Magazine July 2020