UBS Global Wealth Management will give ESG scores to funds

Assets under management with environmental, social and governance strategies have grown 44% over two years in the U.S.

Dec 3, 2018 @ 4:46 pm

By Greg Iacurci

UBS Global Wealth Management will score the environmental, social and governance strategies of investment funds available to its advisers and clients starting next year.

The scores will be placed on all long-only equity and bond mutual funds and exchange-traded funds on the firm's non-U.S. platform, the wirehouse announced Monday. The scores also will be used on similar funds and separately management accounts on the U.S. platform's list of highly recommended investments.

(More: Is ESG investing going mainstream?)

The firm will complete the assessments, meant to help advisers and clients screen in-house and third-party mutual funds based on ESG factors, by the end of 2019. Funds will be scored based on seven aspects of sustainability: pollution/waste, climate change, water, people, products/services, corporate governance and ethics.

UBS's chief investment office and investment platforms and solutions groups are tasked with applying the methodology.

(More: Advisers still think ESG strategies underperform)

The launch of the scores comes as ESG investing grows more popular. There was nearly $12 trillion in ESG-incorporated assets under management in the U.S. at the beginning of 2018, up 44% over two years, according to the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.

Fund-tracking data provider Morningstar Inc. launched ESG rankings for mutual funds in 2016.

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