The new Aegon Global Sustainable Sovereign Bond fund will launch with a £100m initial investment from Aegon UK. It will target financially strong countries that are making significant progress towards the sustainability targets defined by the SDGs. The introduction of a sovereign bond fund provides additional choice for sustainable investors looking to diversify their portfolios.
The strategy will be managed by government bond specialists within Aegon AM’s Global Fixed Income Platform, which has 136 fixed income investment professionals across the UK, the US and the Netherlands. They are supported by a 17-strong global responsible investment team, led by Brunno Maradei.
Maradei said: “We are delighted to be selected by GEFI [Global Ethical Finance Initiative] as a leading example of sustainable investing. We are proud to work with them and our partners at Aegon UK to promote the new fund at COP26. The alignment of sovereign portfolios with the global sustainability agenda facilitates responsible capital allocation, which has positive long-term social and environmental impact.”
Aegon Asset Management and Aegon UK have partnered with GEFI to introduce the new fund. GEFI is an independent organisation focused on driving positive change in the finance community to deliver more private sector capital into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The fund will be available to those saving through their workplace pension as it becomes a component of Aegon UK’s Universal Balanced Collection. The fund will also be available directly through Aegon AM, subject to completion of registrations.
Tim Orton, managing director, investment solutions at Aegon UK, added: “As a long-term savings provider, we want to help our customers align their investments with a fair and sustainable future. As such, Aegon is committed to action on mitigating climate risk and progress towards our net zero carbon targets.
“The fund is a prime example of the industry breaking new ground, allowing this key default fund to invest in sustainable strategies across a broader range of asset classes than most default funds have achieved to date.
“The fund has been selected as a leading and innovative example of sustainability alignment and will form an important first milestone for customers in the Universal Balanced Collection. Climate finance will be a key discussion point at COP26 and we are pleased to partner with GEFI and Aegon Asset Management to promote the importance of innovation and the launch of the fund.”
In January 2021, Aegon UK committed to making its default pension fund carbon net zero by 2050 and to halving its carbon emissions by 2030. It follows recent action that has seen it transition over £10bn of default assets into carbon optimised strategies.