The British Brunel Pension Partnership has chosen Nordea Asset Management to manage a GBP 325m (EUR 359.2m) specialist climate and environment equity mandate.
"We are extremely pleased to have been appointed by the Brunel Pension Partnership," Nils Bolmstrand, CEO of Nordea Asset Management, says in a statement.
"Nordea has been at the forefront of investing in companies that are changing the world for the better and transitioning to a more sustainable society. We are at a crucial period for a global response to climate and environmental challenges, and we look forward to working with Brunel in pursuing a more sustainable world."
The mandate will be run by Thomas Sørensen and Henning Padberg, the managers behind Nordea's Global Climate and Environment Strategy, which was launched almost 13 years ago. Today, the strategy manages a total of EUR 5.1bn.
"We have witnessed a massive shift within the corporate sector – where climate, environment, and sustainability have become major drivers of corporate strategy and product development," Sørensen and Padberg explain.
"While many climate and environment discussions remain political in nature, we believe consumers and corporates are a far more important drivers today. Evolving consumer expectations are incredibly powerful and are powering the momentum in environmentally sustainable solutions," they add.
Brunel is a partnership of ten UK pension funds. The mandate will be part of Brunel's new Sustainable Equities Fund, where Nordea AM will be one of three selected managers. The two others are the Dutch independent equity manager Ownership Capital and the UK-based RBC Global Asset Management.
"We were delighted to find managers who share our understanding of sustainability, embedding it deep into their culture and investment processes," says David Jenkins, portfolio manager for Brunel's Sustainable Equities Fund.
"This portfolio, therefore, meets our aspiration to go beyond traditional responsible investing and ensure that the managers are engaged with the companies and are investing in them for positive reasons, and not simply focusing on negative exclusions."
In a statement, Jenkins explains that Brunel received 70 expressions of interest, from which 15 managers were invited to tender. Brunel then shortlisted eight managers for investment due diligence meetings and ultimately selected the three managers to form the sustainable fund, which will have around £1.2 billion.
The mandate is Nordea's largest single climate and environment segregated mandate, but its importance stretches beyond this: It's also the biggest client mandate ever awarded to Nordea in the UK, to which Nordea has expanded in recent years with the UK version of its renowned Stable Return Strategy.
"The Brunel mandate is a testament to the continued trust UK investors are placing in Nordea. Building on the success of our GBP Diversified Return Strategy, we have expanded the reach of our range of specialist offerings to further meet the needs of our broad client base. These solutions include the Climate and Environment strategy, our ESG Stars equity and bond strategies, as well as our Alpha 10 and Alpha 15 multi-asset vehicles," says David Crawford, co-head of the UK Institutional and Wholesale Distribution at Nordea Asset Management.
English Edit: Nielsine Nielsen