Investment management firm Fidelity International announced today the launch of two new funds classified as Article 9 under the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).
Along with the reclassification of four additional funds from the less stringent Article 8 category to Article 9, the announcement marks a significant expansion of Fidelity’s Article 9 offerings to 8 funds.
The EU SFDR regulation includes classification levels for sustainability-focused investment funds, including ‘Article 8’ funds that “promote environmental or social characteristics or a combination of those characteristics,” and the more stringent ‘Article 9’ funds, “which have sustainable investment as their objective.”
Fidelity’s Article 9 fund expansion follows moves last year by several asset managers to reclassify funds from Article 9 to Article 8, due to uncertainty at the time surrounding the new regulation’s compliance requirements, particularly the determination of what is considered “sustainable.”
In a statement announcing the expansion of the Article 9 funds range, Fidelity said that the move will “address the growing client demand for strategies which invest in issuers that contribute to and benefit from the transition to a more sustainable economy.”
Jenn-Hui Tan, Chief Sustainability Officer, Fidelity International, said:
“These funds are supported by the further enhancement of Fidelity’s sustainable investing framework, including a proprietary dataset which assesses an issuer’s positive contribution to the targets and indicators of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (“SDG”). From this foundation, we have been able to develop a series of fund solutions for clients wishing to align their investments with the transition to a sustainable economy.”
The new active funds include the Sustainable Global Equity Fund, which will be managed by Cornelia Furse as lead Portfolio Manager, and the Sustainable Asian Focus Fund, managed by Mohit Mandhana. The reclassified funds include the Sustainable Biodiversity Fund, Sustainable Climate Solutions Fund, Sustainable Eurozone Equity Fund, and Sustainable US Equity Fund.
According to Fidelity, in order to align with its Article 9 classification, each fund will have 100% of investments invested in ‘sustainable investments,’ based on a sustainable investment definition of having at least 50% of revenues generated from activities contributing to an environmental or social objective according to the EU Taxonomy, Fidelity’s proprietary SDG tool, or a robust strategy to decarbonize towards net zero. Investments are also required to do no significant harm, meet minimum safeguards, and have good governance practices.
Christophe Gloser, Head of Sales, Continental Europe, Fidelity International added:
“Sustainability is one of the biggest and most disruptive megatrends that the sector is facing and one that is impacting our investment decision process. We are committed to providing the best solutions for our clients which is why we strive to further develop relevant products for our clients in the long-term.”