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A letter to you from us about the Positive Impact fund

16 December 2019 / Published in Your Money
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Thank you for taking the time to explore more about our ASB KiwiSaver Scheme and ASB Investment Funds Positive Impact Funds. These funds are the first of their kind for us and we’re excited to be starting our journey with likeminded New Zealanders who believe in the power of focusing on the good to create positive change.

The reason behind these funds is pretty simple. To help our customers who want to build their financial future while investing according to their values. Values centred around protecting the planet and all the people who call it home, now and in the future.

We feel it’s important to share with you what these funds are and are not; but also, our vision for them as they grow.

What they are. We’ve designed the funds with a preference for investments in companies that are making a positive social or environmental impact. Some examples include waste management companies aiming to reduce landfill use; education providers improving schooling in poorer parts of the world; organisations focused on renewable energy; affordable finance providers; and companies focussed on improving healthcare. They’re also diversified funds, meaning they invest in both income and growth assets across a range of sectors. This is important to ensure good outcomes for our customers. 

What they are not. The Positive Impact Funds aren’t like other responsible, ethical or sustainability focussed options in the market, which often just avoid ‘bad’ investments. Instead, they focus on making a positive, measurable difference overall, while also aiming to achieve a financial return. Since impact investing is relatively new, we’ve chosen to start our funds by working with third party managers who offer established strategies. 

The managers have policies in place to exclude investments in companies with significant business activities in the following industries; fossil fuels, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, controversial weapons and adult entertainment. However, it’s important to note that the definitions used for these industries can be narrower than people might expect. For example, the funds currently hold investments in companies who are involved in the fossil fuel industry, as these companies fall outside of the managers’ definition. Despite this, the growth asset portion of the funds are currently 64% lower in carbon intensity when compared to the wider market.

We’re on a journey with the Positive Impact Funds. As they grow, we have plans to refine the exclusion policies, and to explore other ways to back companies who are making an impact, both at home and abroad. We are excited by the prospect of impact investing and hope to regularly share with you the positive social and environmental impacts the funds are having, so you can be part of this journey too.

Thanks again for taking a moment out of your day to read this. We hope this has helped you understand a little more about our Positive Impact Funds, our aspirations for what they will grow into and if it’s the right fit for you. In saying that, we do hope you’ll join us on our journey, so together we can make your money work for you while creating the positive change we all want in our world.

There’s further information on both funds on our website so please explore some more or get in touch on 0800 ASB RETIRE (0800 272 738), we’re always up for a conversation about which fund is best for you. 

 

Interests in the ASB KiwiSaver Scheme and ASB Investment Funds (Schemes) are issued by ASB Group Investments Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of ASB Bank Limited (ASB). ASB provides administration and distribution services for the Schemes. No person guarantees interests in the Schemes. Interests in the Schemes are not deposits or other liabilities of ASB. They are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of income and principal invested. For more information see the ASB KiwiSaver Scheme Product Disclosure Statement or the ASB Investment Funds Product Disclosure Statement available from this website and the register of offers of financial products at www.disclose-register.companiesoffice.govt.nz (search for ASB).

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