New ethical fund appoints Equity Trustees as RE

The Haven Wealth Partners Ethical Absolute Return Fund is a value-focused ethical absolute return fund, which applies positive and negative screens to its investments in companies that are aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Haven Wealth Partner is co-founded by managing director Nick Heuzenroeder, who was previously senior manager, strategic initiatives and head of product and distribution at Statewide Super as well as senioproduct and distribution roles at VicSuper, Aon and Westpac, and financial adviser Umair Javed.

Equity Trustees has been appointed as a responsible entity for for the Ethical Absolute Return Fund.

Haven Wealth Partners Ethical Absolute Return Fund is targeting return of CPI plus 2 percent, net of fees, and will invest in Australian and international equities, listed property and cash instruments. It is intended to appeal to investors who are seeking a core portfolio solution that invests across different asset classes.

"Not everyone who invests seeks financial advice, and given that many other ESG or ethical funds tend to be single sector, we thought we'd meet that demand by bringing in a multi-asset fund," Heuzenroeder said.

The fund screens out companies invested in tobacco, alcohol, controversial weapons, nuclear, fossil fuels and gambling among other exclusions.

"We go through a process of looking at controversial areas, and we take a binary approach to them - they're either in or they're out," Heuzenroeder said. "For us, we have strong conviction in that we don't think you can be ethical/ESG -aligned if you're partially in."

For the resulting investment universe, Haven Wealth then focuses on fundamental analysis to identify companies with value characteristics and then invests in companies with alignment towards the UN SDGs.

The fund is currently identifying cash instruments that meet their ethical screens, Heuzenroeder said.

"Cash holdings is the most difficult area and that's one that's under development," he said. "There aren't any sustainable bond products that we find we're comfortable investing in, to the point where we're working on developing our own due to the absence of any on the market."

Haven Wealth Partners will not use shorting as part of its strategy, Heuzenroeder said.

"We are delighted to be involved in the launch of this exciting new fund, which we believe will help to meet demand from investors for ethical portfolio solutions," said Equity Trustees executive general manager, corporate trustee services Russell Beasley. ""Having an independent specialist RE can bring decades of experience, ensuring the fund meets compliance and governance requirements. It gives fund managers the confidence to focus on the commercial investment decisions and marketing the product, while we take care of the rest."

Read more: Equity TrusteesHaven Wealth PartnersNick HeuzenroederRussell BeasleyUmair Javed