BlackRock has launched a pair of equity exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that represent its first products using indices built to comply with the EU Paris-aligned Benchmark (PAB) label requirements.

The iShares S&P 500 Paris Aligned UCITS ETF tracks the S&P 500 Paris Aligned Climate Sustainability Screened Index, while the iShares MSCI World Paris Aligned UCITS ETF tracks the MSCI World Climate Paris Aligned Benchmark Select.

The indices have been designed to align with a 1.5°C scenario and meet the minimum standards of the EU PAB label, which requires an immediate carbon intensity reduction of at least 50% versus the parent universe at inception, followed by a minimum 7% decarbonisation year-on-year reduction.

The ETFs’ launch comes after BlackRock earlier this year pledged to facilitate the transition to a net-zero economy with a set of investment options with explicit temperature alignment goals.

The asset manager has since joined the Net-Zero Asset Managers Initiative, as part of which signatories pledge to create investment products aligned with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The launch of the two new ETFs comes as BlackRock’s iShares Sustainable UCITS range recently crossed $50bn (€41bn) in assets.

Fidelity declares pension net-zero goal

Fidelity International has declared reduction goals for the carbon emissions linked to its default workplace pension investment strategy.

It said it would halve them by 2030, and cut them to net-zero by 2050 or before. The move is in line with Fidelity’s commitment as a member of the Net-Zero Asset Managers Initiative.

It said it would work closely with its investment partners to agree targets for the proportion of FutureWise Investments’ assets to be managed in-line with the achievement of net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.

FutureWise is Fidelity’s default investment strategy for UK-based pension schemes.

Standard Life Aberdeen name change

Standard Life Aberdeen today said it was announcing its intention to change its name to Abrdn plc.

It said the new brand identity marked the next stage in the reshaping of the business and future-focussed growth strategy. The rebranding roll-out process will begin in the summer, it said.

Stephen Bird, chief executive officer, said the new brand would “create unity across the business, replacing five different brand names that have each been operating independently”.

“Our new name reflects the clarity of focus that the leadership team are bringing to the business as we seek to deliver sustainable growth,” he added.

The name is pronounced ‘Aberdeen’, the company said. Its stock ticker is expected to be revised prior to publication of its half-year results in August.

Standard Life Aberdeen is the outcome of a merger of Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life in 2017. The group’s investment business is Aberdeen Standard Investments.

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