News in brief - 9 October 2020

The Brunel Pension Partnership has announced the launch of a £1.2bn diversifying returns sub-fund (DRF).

The DRF was created in response to new requirements outlined by Brunel’s ten client funds, who were looking for a portfolio which offered "meaningfully different" exposures to others in their strategic asset allocations. Brunel highlighted the offering of downside protection, particularly in times of market stress, as one of the most important aspects of the fund, explaining that the DRF being designed to act as a “stabiliser” when returns in other portfolios come under pressure. Brunel received 102 submissions during the manager search phase, and subsequently appointed William Blair, Lombard Odier Investment Management, UBS Asset Management and JP Morgan Asset Management.

The Association of Professional Pension Trustees (APPT) has announced the accreditation of 209 professional pension trustees.

The accreditation programme, launched in April this year, is designed to promote and maintain the "highest possible standards" across the professional pension trustee industry, with the expectation that schemes and sponsors appointing professional trustees will appoint accredited trustees. Commenting on the news, chair of the APPT, Nita Tinn, stated: “I am delighted that so many professional pension trustees have come forward to become APPT accredited, despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. APPT accreditation is recognised by the industry as the market-leading standard for professional trustees, and we continue to encourage all members of the professional pension trustee community to become accredited.”

State Street Global Advisors have launched three new climate equity funds.

The new fund range targets Paris-aligned reductions in carbon emissions by reallocating capital towards companies benefiting from low-carbon technologies and those with a “strong and comprehensive” climate change strategy. They employ a set of norms based on business involvement exclusions, alongside five different climate metrics. These are carbon intensity, embedded fossil fuel reserves emissions, percentage of brown and green revenue, and adaption score on climate change preparedness. The funds are the State Street Sustainable Climate US Equity Fund, the State Street Sustainable Climate Europe Equity Fund, and the State Street Sustainable Climate World Equity Fund.

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