Morley launches first SRI fund in Germany

GERMANY- Morley Fund Management and Delta Lloyd Investment Managers, both members of the Aviva Group, have launched a new active socially responsible mutual fund in Germany.

The fund is currently being marketed and is the first actively managed sustainability fund for global equities to satisfy transparency criteria set by the German regulator, BAFin.

Recent pensions legislation means private and occupational pension schemes have to report whether ethical, ecological and social aspects are taken into account when contributions are invested.

The legislation came into force last August and has increased the demand for SRI products. Until now, however, the German regulator has vetoed the sale of SRI funds registered in Germany as definitions of 'sustainable investment' have been considered subjective and therefore misleading to consumers.

Morley SRI funds are based on investing in companies compatible with sustainable development. It allocates each company a clear sustainability rating according to its core products and management practices.

The German regulator became aware of Morley's approach to socially responsible investing six months ago and has authorised the sale of its SRI products as it believes consumers can see the basis upon which their money is being invested.

Delta Lloyd will distribute and market the fund through its life company and independent networks while a team of nine managers and analysts from Morley will advise the fund.

Holger Desch, managing director at Delta Lloyd, says: "the timing for SRI products is excellent in Germany. The partnership between Delta and Morley means we are the first provider to enable our customers to reflect their values in their investment choice. Morley's track record indicates we can do this without compromising performance."

Says Paul Moody, head of SRI business development at Morley: "people are becoming increasingly aware that sustained economic growth relies on sustained environmental resources and social inclusion. This is reflected in emerging legislation and rising demand for SRI.”

Morley is an independent, London-based investment manager with over £107bn under management.

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