UK – Friends Ivory & Sime (FIS) has launched an actively managed balanced socially responsible investment (SRI) fund as part of its pooled pension fund range for the institutional market. The fund is aimed at UK pension schemes looking to apply SRI across all their investments.

The Pensions Trust, Christian Aid and Oxfam have been involved in the development of the fund, the latter two being initial investors. The fund will begin with around £50m (e79m) of assets.

FIS uses the principles of its reo (responsible engagement overlay) product in aiming to encourage companies to improve their management of key social, ethical and environmental issues. Companies that operate in sectors with an exceptionally high negative impact on society and the environment will not be invested in, unless they demonstrate a commitment to improvement. Investment will not be made in companies with 3% or more of their revenue from the manufacture of tobacco products, distribution or manufacture of strategic military goods or services, or ownership or operation of nuclear power stations.

“We are delighted to be launching the Balanced SRI Fund. This follows strong demand from the market for SRI solutions applicable across entire pension funds and which satisfy the fiduciary responsibilities of trustees,” says Gary Mairs, managing director, retail and institutional business at FSI.

The fund is benchmarked against the CAPS Pooled Fund Survey, and aims to outperform the mixed (ex-property) fund median by 1% per annum over rolling three-year periods. Investments will be made in a range of assets including UK and international equities, fixed interest and cash.

Barry Sanjana, the chief investment officer, will lead the investment team for the fund.