Pendal Group will establish a global sustainability water and waste strategy and has headhunted two specialists from Fidelity International to run the investment fund.
Pendal Group has hired Bertrand Lecourt, and Saurabh Sharma, to establish a global equities sustainable water and waste investment strategy as part of its Regnan business.
Based in London, Lecourt will join Regnan as senior fund manager and Sharma will join as fund manager. They are expected to start with Regnan in April, with the investment strategy to be launched in the UK and Europe in the second half of calendar 2021.
The team joins from Fidelity International where they manage the Luxembourg-domiciled US$2.4 billion Fidelity Funds Sustainable Water and Waste Fund.
The Regnan investment strategy will invest in companies involved in the design, manufacture or sale of products and services used in the water and waste management sectors, Pendal said. Pendal plans to launch the strategy in the UK and Europe in the second half of calendar 2021. An Australian product launch is to be confirmed, FS Sustainability understands.
"The appointment of Bertrand Lecourt and Saurabh Sharma demonstrates our ability to attract superior talent and progresses Regnan's plans to become a global leader in providing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment strategies and solutions to clients," said Emilio Gonzalez, group chief executive officer of Pendal Group. "Regnan's focus is on delivering innovative and specialist sustainable and impact investment solutions, drawing on over 20 years of experience at the frontier of responsible investment.
Pendal's hiring of Lecourt and Sharma is the second since Regnan expanded into investment management and follows the appointment of the Regnan Equity Impact Solutions team in December 2019, led by Tim Crockford, who joined from Federated Hermes, Gonzalez said.
The Regnan Global Equity Impact Solutions Fund invests in global public market impact assets. The fund is offered as part of Regnan's Global Equities Impact strategy which is available in the UK and now in Australia. The strategy is managed by Regnan's London-based investment team and marketed by Pendal's distribution team locally.
"Clients are increasingly seeking out investment strategies that address environmental concerns in a sustainable way," Gonzalez said. "The development of new technologies and proper water and waste management will be critical to manage the increasing demand for clean water and waste management as populations grow and become more urbanised.
"This will drive investment opportunities that Bertrand Lecourt and Saurabh Sharma will be able to capture through the unique combination of a diversified water and waste global equities portfolio with strong ESG credentials."'
Regnan also operates an impact credit strategy launched in January of 2020. The Regnan Credit Impact Trust invests in investment grade Australian fixed and floating rate securities. The fund focuses on investing in impact bonds to generate social and environmental outcomes alongside financial returns.