Worldwise Investor have just released their Quarterly Report reviewing the last quarter of 2011.
Reduction in Assets Under Management
There was a marked decrease in assets under management (AUM) in thematic funds in the quarter to 31st December 2012. A drop of approximately £1.3bn, taking the total to £13.9bn. Most the fall has come from Agriculture funds, which have seen a £1bn reduction in AUM, but it remains the largest theme on Worldwise Investor, with £6.2bn AUM.
Impressive Performance of Ethical Funds and Thematic Funds
The fall off in AUM for Agriculture followed poor performance in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2011. It was bad timing for retail investors because performance for Agriculture in the 4th quarter (6.55%) actually outperformed world equity markets. Another highlight could be found from UK Ethical funds which gained 6.88% and outperformed the IMA UT All Companies Retail index (5.87%). The IMA UT Global Retail TR index gained 4.84% over the quarter, which was outperformed by the Worldwise Investor Ethical, Agriculture, Thematic, Multi-Asset, Forestry and Water themes.
The top performing funds were JB EF Energy Transition, a Clean Energy fund that grew 19.83%, Allianz RCM Global Agriculture Trends that grew 11.7% and Pictet Agriculture at 11.65%.
The Climate Change Investment Awards
This quarter also saw the announcement of the winners of the Climate Change Investment Awards, which took place in November. Pictet Asset Management took home best Fund Management group, and Henderson Global Investors won the Award for innovation in Climate Change Management. The winner of the best Climate Change fund went to F&C Global Climate Opportunities, which then went on to be the top performer in the Worldwise Investor multi-thematic sector with a return of 9.11% for the last quarter of 2011 (for other winners see our article: The 2011 Climate Change Investment Awards Conference).
The Ethical and Environmental Investment Sentiment
A survey by Future Capital Partners discovered that 67% of advisers believe that investors should increase their renewable energy sector exposure for the long-term. EIRIS also reported that 38% of UK investors are interested in green or ethical financial products, or services. The new National Employment Savings Trust, which will be the default option for pension schemes, has signed up to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, appointed EIRIS as their partner for Environmental Social and Governance data, and have said: “Our research points to responsible investment providing long-term value, reducing risk and contributing towards better member outcomes". (For more information on the NEST see our article: Compulsory Pensions to be rolled out from October 2012).