Norwich Union to launch SRI OEIC

Article date: 20 January 2001

Norwich Union Investment Funds is planning to launch an OEICcomprising 6 sub-funds: Corporate Bond, UK Growth, Absolute Growth,Global Growth, Managed and European Growth. (Subject to FSAapproval). The funds will be managed by Clare Brook and a 9-strongteam, formerly of Henderson Investors who, having worked togetherfor nearly a decade, are renowned as one of the most experienced aswell as one of the largest teams in their field. A European andCorporate Bond manager will be working directly with the team.

The Norwich Union Fund focuses on companies which providesolutions for today and tomorrows social and environmental issues.Increasingly it is being recognised that forward looking,responsible companies are most likely to produce the attractivereturns. From a list of approved companies, the SociallyResponsible Investment (SRI) team picks companies with thepotential for superior long term growth where this is not reflectedin the share price.

Companies committed to sustainable development may be playerswithin emerging industries of the future, such as education, watermanagement, renewable energy and advanced communications, ortraditional businesses whose management have adopted practices thatcontribute to sustainability. The combination of both types ofcompany results in a well diversified portfolio.

Clare Brook, Head of the SRI Team:
"We believe the companies and industries that will perform bestin the 21st Century are precisely those that consider how theiractions will affect the world in 25 or 50 years' time. We expectcompanies with such vision to be best placed to seize theopportunities arising from environmental, social and politicalchanges.

The widely held notion that SRI necessarily produces inferiorperformance is wholly wrong - numerous SRI funds have consistentlyoutperformed their mainstream equivalents. This is not anidealistic approach to investing: environmental and social issuesregularly affect stock prices with dramatic results."

Mark Skinner, Sales and Marketing Director, Norwich UnionInvestment Funds:
"Commitment to sustainable development is increasingly beingrecognised as a precursor to long term growth and enhancedinvestment returns. Investors can now access a rigorouslyresearched universe of stocks, selected from some of the mostrapidly growing industries, without fear of jeopardising futuregenerations. The rise of SRI cannot be ignored by investors, itwill be one of the key forces of the 21st century.

We have an investment team which has over a decade ofexperience in running socially responsible funds and a proven trackrecord in delivering superior returns. It is a sign of ourcommitment to be a leader on environmental issues and todemonstrate social responsibility in our corporate activities. Weare determined to be the leading player in socially responsibleinvestment activity. "

A focus on sustainable development helps companies improveperformance in four ways:

  • Firms that constantly innovate to promote sustainabledevelopment are most likely to develop new goods and services thatsatisfy their customers' needs.
  • Companies that work to cut down waste and minimise fuel andenergy usage for any given level of output, typically benefit fromlower operational costs.
  • An emphasis on sustainable development is normally consistentwith superior risk management.
  • A focus on stakeholders - consumers, employees and widersociety - normally boosts profitability over the long-term. Acompany that has good relations with customers, minimises staffturnover and has a valued position in society is in an opportuneposition to outperform.

The SRI Team adopts a three tier approach to research: thematicresearch to identify and assess the impact of key environmental andsocial trends; company analysis to provide a suitable universe ofstocks for investment; progressive engagement to promote positivechange in corporate behaviour. No company is included in theportfolio unless it has cleared both the environmental/social andthe financial hurdles, although the two are rarelycontradictory.

The key premise underlying the research and investment approachis that the shift by the world economy from environmentally andsocially unsustainable growth to sustainable development will beone of the key forces of the 21st century.

For further information, please call:

IFA Helpdesk 0845 302 2557

- Ends -

For further information, please contact:

Mark Skinner / Daniel Longden - 020 7809 8625
(Norwich Union Investment Funds)

Louise Hatch / Harriet Moore - 020 7786 4889
(Penrose Financial)

Notes to Editors:
Product name details and launch date subject to FSA approval.
Product Details

The new product is an OEIC containing six sub funds as below:

AUTIF sector
Corporate BondUK Corporate Bond
UK GrowthUK All Companies
Absolute Growth*Active Managed
Global Growth*Global Growth
ManagedBalanced Managed
European GrowthEurope excluding UK
  • direct investments in the OEIC available
  • Mini and Maxi ISA investment available
  • PEP and ISA transfers available
  • Initial charge: 4%
  • Annual management fee: 1.5%, 1.0% for the Corporate Bondfund
  • Minimum investment: £500 lump sum / £50 per month

*Pep transfers are not available into theAbsolute Growth and Global Growth Funds.

Led by Clare Brook, the Socially responsible investment team isone of the largest, the most experienced in the UK.

Clare and her colleagues have been working together for nearly adecade. In this time, they have grown in reputation and status.Team members are frequently asked for advice by companies, NGOs andgovernment departments. Recently the team was involved with policymaking for the new legislation that requires pension fund trusteesto disclose their stance on social and environmental issues.

The team has a global perspective and a global reputation,having worked with investment consultants from around the world.Its research efforts focus on the world-wide activities of thecompanies in which it invests. Members are regularly asked to speakat overseas conferences on SRI issues.

The value of the fund and the income from it may go down as wellas up, and the investor may not get back the original amountinvested.

Issued by Norwich Union Trust Managers Limited. Norwich UnionInvestment Funds is the trading name of Norwich Union TrustManagers Limited. Registered in England No 1973412. A member of theAssociation of Unit Trusts and Investment Funds. Represents onlythe Norwich Union Marketing Group, members of which are regulatedby the Personal Investment Authority. Regulated by IMRO.
Registered Offices: 8 Surrey Street, Norwich, NR1 3NG.

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