​Storebrand wins £400 million climate mandate from East Sussex Pension Fund

First UK pension fund client selects Storebrand Global ESG Plus strategy – Significant move for LGPS scheme to add a green revenue tilted fossil-free fund in its passive portfolio

Published 18.12.2020 by Press Release

Storebrand is delighted to announce that it has been awarded its first major UK pension fund mandate following a £400 million investment by the East Sussex Pension Fund (ESPF). Storebrand is Norway's largest private asset manager and has a 25-year commitment to sustainable investment. All £76 billion[1] assets are managed according to the group-wide Storebrand Policy for Sustainable Investments.

ESPF, which has £3.9 billion[2] of assets, is part of the UK Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) and a key proponent of addressing climate risk within its investment approach. Its selection of the Storebrand Global ESG Plus strategy represents a significant move for an LGPS scheme to go fossil-free in half of its passive portfolio, instead investing in companies providing climate solutions.

Storebrand Global ESG Plus provides a comprehensive solution to climate risk within index allocations. It is a fossil-free equity strategy that aims for long-term alignment with the Paris Agreement goals and exhibits lower carbon risk with higher climate solutions and ESG scores than the world index[3].

Storebrand is committed to developing its client base in the UK where its sustainable index-based, solutions and factor strategies are distributed by its subsidiary, SKAGEN Funds. SKAGEN has a long established and experienced team based in London.

Jan Erik Saugestad, CEO of Storebrand Asset Management, commented:

"We are delighted to be working with the East Sussex Pension Fund, who share our urgency to tackle climate risk and shift investments in the right direction. Their investment also represents an important step for Storebrand's international development and is a welcome endorsement of our sustainable investment solutions."

Tim Heffer, Managing Director of SKAGEN Funds, UK, added:

"We are seeing a lot of interest from pension schemes seeking to address the climate emergency and winning this mandate underlines Storebrand's ability to meet this demand. Alongside growing investment from wealth management clients, this adds further momentum to our UK business.”

Lauren Juliff, Head of UK Institutional and Climate Specialist of SKAGEN Funds, said:

"East Sussex Pension Fund is taking a lead on portfolio climate risk management and we are delighted to be partnering with them – we share the same long-term goals, aligning the portfolio with the risks and opportunities associated with a future compliant with the Paris Agreement."

Councillor Gerard Fox, Chair of the East Sussex Pension Fund, commented:

"The Energy Transition presents challenges that touch every country, sector and company. For an LGPS Fund it defies simple investment versus divestment decisions, requiring company engagement and a whole portfolio approach. Investing in generic passive indices, while a perfectly acceptable part of any pension strategy, tends to weight exposure to older and often more carbon intensive incumbents over which no investor due diligence has taken place. Such an approach sits less well with heightened due diligence around ESG risks. ESPF is very pleased to partner with Storebrand as a part of its strategy to address these challenges."


TimHeffer_LaurenJuliff
Tim Heffer, Managing Director of SKAGEN Funds, UK & Lauren Juliff, Head of UK Institutional and Climate Specialist of SKAGEN Funds



[1] As at 30 September 2020
[2]As at 30 September 2020
[3] Morningstar analysis of Storebrand Global ESG Plus Fund vs. MSCI World Index

Subjects
Energy issues Economy, Finance Environment, Energy Nature and environmental control Economy Finance, Stocks, Private savings Sustainability/CSR Water/Ocean environment


Tags
infra structure sustainable finance alternative investments real estate asset management

Jan Erik Saugestad
Jan Erik Saugestad, CEO of Storebrand Asset Management "We are delighted to be working with the East Sussex Pension Fund, who share our urgency to tackle climate risk and shift investments in the right direction".