Investing goes fossil free – without affecting performance


financialpost.com | Published 3 October2016

By Barry Critchley

Put it down to the rise of the divestment movement — the wish by institutional investors to rid themselves of their holdings of companies in the fossil fuel business.

At Genus Capital Management, the firm’s environmental-based clients led the way by requesting oilsands producers be removed from their portfolios. But three years earlier, momentum picked up when clients “asked us to totally divest, which we did,” said Wayne Wachell, the firm’s chief investment officer.

In response, the firm, which has been active in socially responsible investing, then set up a fossil free investing division.That now makes up about one-fifth of the firm’s $1.1 billion of assets under management, with $225 million worth of assets split between three equity funds and two fixed income funds.

The common characteristic behind the three funds: they all own low carbon stocks here and abroad with some adding stocks that meet either a high environmental social and governance test, or those whose business is in the renewable energy, water and waste management sector.

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