Canadian asset manager NEI Investments announced today a series of proposed changes to its investment fund lineup, including the merging of several of its mutual funds, as well as changing the investment objectives of two other mutual funds to bolster their environmental, social and governance (ESG) characteristics. According to NEI, the changes are intended to streamline and enhance the firm’s responsible investment fund lineup.
According to NEI, most of the mutual fund consolidations involve merging funds into counterpart funds that include “Responsible Screens.” In each of these merged funds, NEI automatically excludes companies with specific types of involvement in industries including tobacco, weapons, nuclear power, gambling, and pornography. In the funds with revised characteristics, NEI is introducing a Responsible Investing approach, which the asset manager describes as one that that incorporates ESG analysis of company performance into the investment decision-making process, and seeks to generate sustainable value for investors, shareholders, other company stakeholders and society as a whole. NEI’s responsible investing approach includes methodologies and initiatives including exclusionary screening, proprietary ESG evaluations, corporate engagement, ESG-focused proxy voting, promotion of public policy and standards, and investment research. Some of the funds may also employ impact investing or sustainability-themed investing strategies, focusing on specific sustainability themes or aiming to provide positive environmental or social impacts, in addition to investment returns.
Frederick M. Pinto, Senior Vice President and Head of Asset Management for NEI Investments, said:
“These proposed changes will amplify NEI’s position as Canada’s leader in responsible investment. By simplifying our fund lineup in certain areas while expanding the opportunity set in others, we reaffirm our commitment to bringing Canadians a comprehensive set of responsible investment solutions, so they can achieve their goals with confidence.”