Liontrust launches ESG investment trust

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A new investment trust focused on sustainable companies is to be launched by Liontrust Asset Management, run by a team with a 20-year track record of managing sustainable funds.


Liontrust is seeking to raise GBP150mln by means of a placing, offer for subscription and intermediaries offer via various fund platforms for the Liontrust ESG Trust PLC (LON:EGST).


The trust will have a portfolio of between 25 and 35 holdings of large and small companies that the Liontrust Fund Partners team believe “will capitalise on and help drive the key structural growth trends that will shape the sustainable global economy of the future; will provide or produce sustainable products and services; and have a progressive approach to the management of environmental, social and governance issues”.


Led by managers Peter Michaelis and Simon Clements, who have been managing sustainable global growth strategies since 2001 and 2010 respectively, the investment team say they look at potential holdings “through the prism of three mega trends”: better resource efficiency, improved health and greater safety and resilience, and then 21 themes within these.


“Up to 10% of the management fee we receive from ESGT will be used to fund research to identify and develop financial instruments covering those UN Sustainable Development Goals that are currently uninvestable,” said Michaelis.


“When these financial instruments are developed, they will become available to ESGT and other investors.”


Liontrust Asset Management PLC (LON:LIO) chief executive John Ions said it was “a significant launch” in expanding the offering into investment trusts.


“The launch of ESGT recognises the growing demand for sustainable investment as an increasing number of people want their investments to make positive contributions to society, the environment and the economy.”


Research commissions by Liontrust at the end of last year revealed that 78% of wealth managers and 71% of financial advisers have seen an increasing proportion of their clients investing sustainably over the past year, with 34% of wealth managers and advisers regarding Liontrust as the best investment manager for sustainable investment.


Following the initial share offer, the company plans to issue up to a further 250mln ordinary shares and/or C-shares during the following year.

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