Sustainability trust offers unique opportunity for investors

Douglas Armstrong of legal firm Dickson Minto. Picture: Stuart McClay
Douglas Armstrong of legal firm Dickson Minto. Picture: Stuart McClay
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Individual investors are being given access to an opportunity usually only available to major institutional investors via a ground-breaking investment trust that is looking to raise £200 million.

The Global Sustainability Trust – managed by Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) – is looking to deliver “positive social and environmental impact”, covering areas such as micro finance and sustainable buildings. Investments span private equity, infrastructure, property, natural resources and private credit.

It is targeting a net total return of 6 to 8 per cent a year and ASI said the trust’s impact benefits include helping investors to “align their investments with their values and addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals”.

It comes as ASI’s private markets assets under management amount to £67 billion, with 19 private markets offices globally. ASI’s total assets under management at the end of 2017 reached £575.7bn.

Douglas Armstrong of Dickson Minto, said: “The Global Sustainability Trust provides a unique investment opportunity for retail investors to access private-market investments, which are usually only available to institutional investors. These include investments in clean tech, microfinance and sustainable buildings. Importantly, these investments aim to offer attractive financial returns as well as positive social and environmental impact.”

When it was announced that ASI had been selected to manage the trust, co-chief executive Martin Gilbert, said: “We have an established track record as an asset manager that has integrated environmental, social and governance considerations across our investment processes for all asset classes.

“Given the vital global importance of the UN goals, this trust is well timed to offer investors access to the potential rewards of those investments helping to create a better world.”