Jamie Jenkins has delivered positive performance since taking over this fund in 2015. He benefits from the input of the large Responsible Investment team at BMO, which is responsible for ESG research. The fund is also overseen by an advisory council, whose president is the Archbishop of Canterbury. Jenkins has a bottom-up approach as with most actively managed responsible funds, but the fund is more closely correlated to the MSCI World benchmark than a number of global ESG funds. We would describe the fund as mid-green, but as always encourage investors to read the investment criteria before investing.
The fund has a five stage investment process, which sees the global universe filtered from 5,000 stocks to 40-60 in the final portfolio. Stage one is idea generation, which is derived from company meetings, industry conferences, sector/theme research and ESG research by the BMO investment team. Approximately 1,000 stocks are taken to stage two which is ethical and sustainability screening - positive and negative. This work is largely done by BMO's Responsible Investment team and the Advisory Council. Stocks that make it through the screens are placed on the watch list of around 100 stocks, which undergo in-depth company and valuation analysis before being considered for portfolio inclusion. Stage four is portfolio construction, which is primarily the responsibility of Jamie Jenkins, who seeks to blend and diversify risks when weighting the final portfolio. A high quality and undervalued stock in the opinion of the manager will tend to have a weighting of 2.5-5.0%. A fair valued, high quality company will have a weight of 1-2.5%. Stage five of the investment process is active ownership and reporting, which is the responsibility of the portfolio managers and the responsible investment teams.