T. Rowe Price announced today the launch of its new Global Impact Equity Fund, the first impact fund for the global investment manager.

According to T. Rowe Price, the new fund aims to enable investors to simultaneously pursue their financial goals and to have a positive impact on the global environment and social equity issues.  Employing an active management approach, the fund will focus on three key sustainability pillars, including climate and resource impact, social equity and quality of life, and sustainable innovation and productivity, while seeking out companies that can potentially provide excess returns over its benchmark, the MSCI All-Country World index.

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According to the company, the launch comes as investors are increasingly looking to link societal goals and financial performance.

Rob Sharps, President, Head of Investments, and Group Chief Investment Officer, T. Rowe Price Group, said:

“T. Rowe Price has been preparing for the launch of this fund and similar strategies for quite some time.  Over the last decade, we have invested significantly to incorporate ESG factors into our investment research platform, recognizing that the long-term sustainability of our portfolio companies is critical to their financial success and to our mission of helping clients reach their financial goals.  The launch of the Global Impact Equity Fund, the first of several impact strategies we plan to offer in the future, is a natural extension of this process.  As active managers, we’re pleased to channel capital in the pursuit of attractive returns as well as to influence positive environmental and social progress.”

According to T. Rowe Price, the fund will employ an all-capitalization, high-conviction approach, typically owning between 55 and 85 securities, aiming to invest in companies that will create positive environmental and social impact, along with attractive returns. The fund will be aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and will employ a range of sustainability-focused exclusions such as fossil fuels, tobacco, gaming, and for-profit prison companies.

The Global Impact Equity Fund will initially be rolled out to U.S. investors, with plans to eventually introduce the strategy to clients around the world. The fund will be managed by T. Rowe Price Portfolio Manager Hari Balkrishna.

Balkrishna said:

“The world and financial markets have reached a turning point with respect to addressing the health of our planet and the widespread inequality that continues to plague society at large.  Increasingly, global investors want to invest not just in accordance with their wallets but with their values.  The opportunity to own businesses that foster positive environmental and social change is broader than it has ever been.  Being on the right side of these changes creates real opportunity to select stocks that can provide attractive financial returns along with positive impact on the planet and our society.  With our deep fundamental and responsible investing research capabilities, we are excited about capturing these opportunities for our clients.”