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7IM Sustainable Balance C Acc (OEIC/Unit Trust)

SRI Style: Sustainability Themed
Fund Type: OEIC/Unit Trust
Region: Global
Asset Type: Mixed Asset
Launch Date: 02/02/2007

SRI / Ethical Overview

The Equity and Fixed Interest components of the fund are managed by Sarasin LLP, leaders in the field of researching sustainable investments. 7IM manage the investment overlay which includes exchange traded funds as well as carefully chosen funds which are within the ethical and sustainable criteria.

While there are some ethical exclusions (nuclear, armaments, pornography, GMOs, etc,) the choices of investments are made mainly on positive social and environmental factors.  The equity and bond choices are based on their positioning, in terms of social analysis and environmental matters, compared with their peers both in quantitative or qualitative terms as judged by Sarasin using their proprietary Sarasin Sustainability Matrix®.  The ETFs and funds chosen by 7IM must also comply with the Sarasin principles as well as the ethical exclusions and are generally thematic plays on sustainable themes as well as alternative investments in areas such as sustainable forestry.

The social factors judged to be important in positioning on the matrix include having a good relationship with suppliers, capital providers, the general public, its employees, clients and competitors based on criteria of health, participation, distribution of wealth, knowledge and controversial activities.

The environmental aspects include such things as environmental strategy, policy and management systems, pre-production sourcing, production processes, products and services.


SRI / themed / ethical assets under management – overview

  • Fund Size (GBP): £75m
  • Total value of SRI/ethical/environmental/ social/ environmental or sustainability themed funds under management:  £75m
  • Total value of assets covered by responsible ownership policy: £75m
  • Total assets under management: £11bn


SRI Policies (Primary strategy in bold)

  • Environmental policy Find investment funds with environmental policies - ie that consider issues such as pollution, climate change, resource management, environmental impact. This will include options from all of the different SRI Styles, including funds where their core strategy is to focus on other areas such as ethical funds. See fund information for fund specific policy details.
  • Ethical policies Find funds with 'traditional' ethical investment policies. These typically focus on avoiding companies that are involved in the armaments industry, tobacco, gambling and/or pornography. Options will include funds where their core strategy or style may be to focus other issues - like sustainability or the environment, not just 'ethical funds'. Strategies vary significantly. Check fund literature for details.
  • Sustainability policy Find fund options that consider issues relating to the sustainability agenda (e.g. resource management, environmental impact, climate change and/or social issues such as equal opportunities, human rights and adherence to recognised codes). This will include funds from all of the different SRI Styles. See fund information for explanations of the different strategies.
  • Social policy Find fund options that consider social issues (e.g. human rights, labour standards, equal opportunities, child labour and adherence to internationally recognised codes such as the UN Global Compact). This will include funds in most of the different SRI Styles as this is considered a core issue. See fund information for detail.
  • Governance policy Find fund options that have policies that relate to corporate governance issues such as board structure, executive remuneration, bribery and/or corporate corruption. These funds will typically avoid companies with poor practices.
  • Tobacco production avoided Find fund options that exclude manufacturers of tobacco (or related) products. This typically relates to ethical funds however funds from other SRI Styles commonly avoid this area also. Strategies vary and funds may invest in retailers of such products (e.g. supermarkets or hotels.) See fund information for further information.
  • Armaments manufacturers avoided Find ethical fund (and other SRI) options that avoid avoids companies that manufacture products intended specifically for military use. Fund strategies vary - particularly with regard to non strategic military products. Read fund literature for specific details.
  • Limits exposure to carbon intensive industries Find environmental, sustainable investment, ethical fund and other options that aim to significantly reduce or limit exposure to carbon intensive industries (ie sectors which are major contributors to climate change). Funds vary - strategies may involve excluding sectors such as coal, oil & gas, mining or airlines - or may indicate a 'best in sector' approach is taken. See fund literature for details.
  • Nuclear exclusion policy Find ethical funds (and other options) that have a published policy that sets out the fund's position on avoiding or limiting exposure to nuclear power. See fund literature for details of their policy.
  • Invests in clean energy/renewables Find ethical, sustainable investment and other environmentally aware fund options that aim to invest in companies in the clean technology and renewable energy sectors. Fund strategies vary. Some funds may have limited exposure to this area, others may have significant exposure. Check fund literature for details.
  • Alcohol production excluded This filter helps you to find ethical funds - and other options - that avoid investment in alcohol production. See fund literature for further information.
  • Gambling avoidance policy Find ethical fund options (and other options) that avoid companies with significant involvement in the gambling industry. See fund policy for details.
  • Pornography avoidance policy Find ethical fund option - and in some cases other options - that avoid companies that derive significant income from pornography. See fund details for further information.
  • Human rights Find funds that consider human rights practices when approving companies for investment. Such funds will require decent standards of human rights to be demonstrated - which typically means adherence to international norms as a minimum standard.

SRI Features

  • Positive selection bias Find funds where their main 'ethical approach' is to invest in companies that are considered to be positive/good or useful to people and/or the environment. The fund may also have negative avoidance criteria - see fund details to read more about fund strategies.
  • Negative selection bias Find funds where their main 'ethical approach' is to avoid companies by using negative screening criteria. Read fund literature for further information.
  • Balances company 'pros and cons'/best in sector Find ethical funds and other options that consider both the 'positive' things companies do and the 'negative' things they do in order to make balanced, often complex decisions about where they might invest. Such funds often invest in the best/most ethical companies across most industries ('best in sector'), rather than excluding entire sectors. The fund manager may combine this with 'responsible engagement' activity to encourage better business practices. See fund literature for specific policy explanations.
  • Sustainability themed Find funds where there is a significant emphasis on sustainability issues either as its primary strategy or as a core strategy that compliments other criteria. (This may apply to a number of different SRI Styles). Such funds will consider environmental and social issues when making stock selection decisions. Read fund literature for further information.
  • Favours cleaner, greener companies Find funds that aim to nvest in companies with strong environmental policies and practices. This may mean it invests in smaller companies offering market leading environmental services or products and/or larger companies that are working towards the improved management of their negative impacts. Read fund literature for further information.
  • Favours companies with strong social policies Find funds that invest in line with positive strategies that relate to 'people' issues - such as having strong human rights, labour standards and equal opportunities practices. Such funds are likely to invest in companies that have market leading standards with regard to employee and supplier practices. Read fund literature for further information.
  • Strictly screened ethical fund Find funds that have a high level of negative ethical avoidance. These funds are likely to exclude more companies than other ethical (and SRI) fund options. Read fund literature for further information.
  • Aims to generate positive impacts Find funds that aim to help deliver positive social or environmental impacts or outcomes through their investment decisions - which typically involves holding companies that are viewed as being necessary or beneficial. Strategies and approaches vary. A small number of funds have recently started to measure outcomes (see 'Measures Impacts' in the Policy filter). This is a new area - so most funds do not do this yet. See fund literature for further information.
  • Available via an ISA Find funds that are available via a tax efficient ISA product wrapper

Corporate Activity

  • Vote all* shares at AGMs/EGMs This fund manager votes or aims to vote all* the shares they own at Annual General Meetings and Extraordinary General Meetings. A commitment to voting shares is a key indicator of 'responsible share ownership' - where fund managers consider - and express their views on - the key business issues effecting the companies they part own. (*Allowance is made for exceptional situations such as when shares are in the process of being sold.)
  • In house responsible ownership/voting expertise Find fund / fund management companies where there is in-house expertise that enables the fund manager to make their own decisions on issues such as shareholder voting, setting of in-house guidelines - for example - particularly with regard to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
  • UK Stewardship Code signatory Find fund managers that are signatories to the FRC UK Stewardship Code, which sets out a framework for constructive investor / investee relations where fund managers are encouraged to behave as responsible 'company owners'.
  • Publish Responsible Ownership/Stewardship report Find fund management companies that publish information on their approach to responsible investment ownership - also known as 'Stewardship' - following the introduction of 'the Stewardship Code'. This sets out their approach to voting, dialogue with company management and any related activity. This is publicly available.
  • Publish full voting record Find fund management companies that publishes a full record of how they vote at AGMs and EGMs. This information is publicly available.

SRI / Ethical Policy

The fund will only invest in individual securities where the underlying companies, countries and institutions score well on social and environmental criteria.

Certain products and manufacturing processes are so high-risk that they are not rated as being compatible with the criteria. Companies from certain industries or with significant exposure to certain activities are precluded, such as: Tobacco industry, Armaments, Pornography, Nuclear power generation or Chlorine, agrochemicals and GMOs in agriculture. Alcohol and Gambling will shortly be added as exclusions in the new Prospectus.

The fund may also invest in collective investment vehicles (including exchange traded funds and open or closed ended funds) that track recognised ethical or socially responsible indices or are managed with appropriate ethical, social or environmental criteria.


Resources, Affiliations & Corporate Strategies

In-house research: macro and economic analysis based on a wide range of research material divided between broker research (too many to list here but the main ones such as Citi and Goldman Sachs as well as smaller brokers such as Numis and Winterflood) and external research (ASR, BCA, Capital Economics, Gavekal, MRB) and on conclusions of quarterly asset allocation committee meetings which are attended by representatives from independent research houses and independent contributors from the fund management industry.

7IM outsources the individual equity selection and the individual bond selection to Sarasin who have strong ethical, ESG and SRI research capabilities with a large team of analysts who are able to assess company and country SRI criteria.

7IM controls the overall asset allocation of the fund both strategic, keeping it within IA sector guidelines (Mixed Investment 20-60% Shares), within a balanced risk profile as defined by 7IM.


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