Simon Webber, Fund Manager of the Schroder Global Climate Change Fund tells us that efforts to tackle climate change will be the next industrial revolution and that investors can tap into this trend.
You were one of the first investment houses to launch a climate change fund; can you give us a little history about it?
The fund was launched in 2006 in response to concern from both key investors and the global investment team at Schroders, that climate change was having an increasingly significant impact on companies globally. There was a general feeling that we needed to react and better understand the effects this would have on our investment landscape to prevent performance from suffering. We believe that efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change will be the next industrial revolution and that investors can tap into this trend. The creation of the Climate Change team benefits not only the Schroder International Selection Fund Global Climate Change Fund, but also other portfolios across the Global team. A lot of time went into the development of our strategy and philosophy. We spent nine months creating a clearly defined broad universe of 700 companies which will benefit from efforts to accommodate the impact of climate change. We seek to identify companies that are positioning themselves to generate long term structural growth by investing in products and services to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change. Only the very best value-for-growth ideas make it into the portfolio, and we are not afraid to exclude whole sectors if they become overvalued.
What makes your climate change fund different?
The distinguishing feature of this fund is the extensive understanding the team has in the area of climate change across many different industries. It is this understanding that has enabled us to pick strong winners across a diverse range of sectors, from retail to industrials to insurance. We have found that many of the best opportunities are in the least obvious areas, as climate change regulations and growth opportunities impact an ever growing list of industries. The two portfolio managers possess over 18 years investment experience between them and utilise the full breadth of Schroders’ global equity resources including global sector specialists, climate change specialists and a global network of over 70 in-house analysts. We use an unconstrained approach providing flexibility to invest in the strongest growth opportunities.
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