The authoritative voice for many investors on the always expanding mutual fund universe is the Chicago-based Morningstar organization. The company tracks mutual fund’s in- and outflows, performance, focus and other aspects of [mutual fund] activities.
The firm began adding ESG analysis to its legendary and comprehensive analytical work last year. About 200 mutual funds with ESG criteria were initially being monitored by Morningstar, with analysis provided by Sustainalytics. **
Now here’s an important update for you: we are apparently on pace for a record year for ESG funds this year. In 3Q 2017, the universe of ESG funds (equity and fixed-income) continued to grow; there were five new fund launches and net flow (funds in) that “…keep the group on track for record year of attracting new assets.”
Morningstar explains that “Sustainable Mutual Funds” experienced continued growth in assets and heavier inflow through 2016 and into 2017; Assets Under Management were about $60 billion through September. New launches were by Brown Advisory, Essex, iShares and NuShares (four were bond funds and one, equity-focused).
Notes Morningstar: Because many of these funds are “young,” with almost 100 lacking three-year track records, they remain small (below $50 million AUM). But the good news is that with continued new fund launches and flows in continuing, sustainable funds continue to gain traction in 3Q 2017, offering investors more choices who are focusing on ESG / sustainable portfolios.
The addition of ESG / Sustainable investing data and information to the influential Morningstar suite of services for investors was an important development, and a solid sign of ESG investing coming of age in the USA for the company’s customers. Shortly after adding the ESG features, Morningstar made a strategic investment in Sustainalytics buying 40% of the firm earlier this year – another good sign for the sustainable investing community.
There’s good information for you in our Top Story.
There’s more news about sustainable investing here in this week’s Highlights — read on!
Keep watch: We will soon be sharing news about our new “To the Point” corporate management briefing service. This new platform on launch will have lots of good, timely, actionable information about ESG players that influence the capital markets — and public company access and cost of capital. For advance information, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
**Footnote: Morningstar defines the ESG universe as fund that incorporate ESG criteria into their investment process (or) pursue a sustainability-related theme (or) seek measurable sustainability impact along with financial return.
Top Stories This Week…
Sustainable Funds Universe Continues to Expand
(Thursday – October 12, 2017)
Source: Morningstar – The universe of sustainable funds in the United States continued to grow in the third quarter, with five new fund launches and positive estimated net flows that keep the group on track for a record year of attracting new assets.