First ethical Swiss fund launched

The first ethically invested fund, specifically designed for Swiss pension funds, was launched last month, in response to demand from public sector pension fund managers.

The fund, known as a foundation fund - an investment vehicle exclusive to pension funds with certain tax privileges - is being marketed across Switzerland this month in a series of presentations.

The impetus for the set up of the fund came from the two Geneva civil service pension funds, both of which have already invested money.

The fund is advised by two asset management groups. Gerhard Odermatt, the head of funds at Lombard Odier in Geneva explained: In the investment procedure, we select the stock of a number of Swiss companies and pass the list to Bank Sarasin. They vet the companies on the basis of environmental and social criteria. Basically, Sarasin is in charge of the ethical part and we are in charge of the financial aspects of the investment."

Bank Sarasin has an established reputation in the area of ethical investing, as it already runs a ethically managed mutual fund for private investors in Switzerland."

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