Putnam Investments is to offer two new funds with dedicated environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies to the marketplace toward the end of Q1 2018, pending SEC staff review.
The new funds, to be named Putnam Sustainable Leaders Fund and Putnam Sustainable Future Fund, will bring two distinct investment lenses to identify opportunities driven by corporate sustainability practices and solutions, respectively.
Following the creation of Putnam’s Sustainable Investing team last year, which is headed by Katherine Collins, the firm has been exploring a variety of sustainability-focused solutions – for both the retail and institutional markets – and has been increasingly embedding ESG analysis across its broader investment platforms.
“The true value of active management is being able to find compelling, differentiated investment opportunities that are often undiscovered and away from underlying benchmarks – ultimately seeking to add meaningful alpha to clients’ portfolios,” says Robert L Reynolds (pictured), President and CEO, Putnam Investments. “Our ESG product developments are part of a larger continuing effort by Putnam to use its evolving product line-up to help clients capitalise on a broad range of market dynamics through an effective mix of innovative traditional and non-traditional investment strategies.”
The two new Putnam ESG funds will be formed through the repositioning of two existing products offered by the firm. Putnam Multi-Cap Growth Fund will become Putnam Sustainable Leaders Fund, a multi-cap fund – with USD4.3 billion in assets at the end of December 2017 – focused on identifying companies with demonstrated commitment to sustainable business practices. The fund will be managed by Katherine Collins, Head of Sustainable Investing and Shep Perkins, Co-Head of Equities. They will be joined by Assistant Portfolio Manager Stephanie Henderson, an analyst on the firm’s sustainable investing team. Rob Brookby, who previously managed Putnam Multi-Cap Growth Fund, will be leaving the firm to pursue other opportunities.
Additionally, Putnam Multi-Cap Value Fund will become Putnam Sustainable Future Fund, a mid-cap fund – with USD450 million in assets at the end of December 2017 – focused on identifying companies with products and services that provide solutions directly contributing to sustainable social, environmental, and economic development. The fund will continue to be managed by Katherine Collins, who will be joined by Assistant Portfolio Manager Stephanie Henderson.
“There is a growing realisation in the marketplace that companies engaged in sustainability often show enhanced fundamental and financial performance,” says Aaron Cooper, Chief Investment Officer, Equities, Putnam Investments.
“These ESG offerings are a powerful recognition by our firm that clients and investors, who are increasingly intrigued by sustainable investing, stand to benefit from focused strategies in this area in the years ahead,” explained Cooper.
The two Putnam ESG-focused funds are expected to be available in the marketplace in March 2018.