Smart Pension seeds £550m in new low carbon stewardship fund

Innovative new fund is one of the first pooled funds to offer institutional investors split voting

Smart Pension seeds £550m in new low carbon stewardship fund
  • Smart Pension supported AMX-DWS in design of new fund

Smart Pension, one of the UK’s leading workplace pension providers, announces its investment in the AMX-DWS Global Low Carbon Stewardship Fund. The fund is a new low-carbon global equity index strategy that offers innovative stewardship voting capabilities, being one of the first pooled funds to offer institutional investors split voting within a pooled fund as well as being aligned with Smart Pension’s 2040 net zero goal. Smart Pension seeds £550m in the fund and supported AMX-DWS in its design. 

The fund is a partnership between Carne platform, AMX, asset manager DWS, stewardship provider Minerva Analytics and index provider Solactive. This partnership offers institutional investors the opportunity to express their voting preferences within a pooled fund. Voting is split in proportion to each investor’s holding in the fund, offering institutional investors stronger investment stewardship and active ownership. 

The fund uses new split voting technology from Minerva Analytics which aims to track a low-carbon global equity index, offering investors diversified equity exposure aligned with the long-term targets of the Paris Climate Agreement. The fund is aligned with Smart Pension’s Smart Sustainable Growth Fund target, to be net zero by 2040. This continues to put Smart Pension at the forefront of the industry from a sustainability perspective, as well as accountability and stewardship.

The news comes after Smart Pension announced it had more than halved the emissions of the Smart Sustainable Growth Fund in February this year. This is over two years ahead of the 50% reduction target it announced in June 2022. 

In January 2023 Smart Pension became the first UK pension provider to offer customers a range of growth funds that are all fully sustainable, including the Smart Sustainable Growth Fund, in January 2023. 

Smart Pension has made considerable progress in incorporating investments with a strong sustainability focus into its portfolio, and intends to continue doing so. Smart Pension is a member of leading global sustainability initiatives. 

Paul Bucksey, Chief Investment Officer at Smart Pension, commented:

“We are focused on achieving great outcomes for our members. We want to help them secure long-term financial growth and a safer, healthier world in which they can retire. We’re delighted to have worked with AMX, DWS, Solactive and Minerva Analytics, to create a fund that is strongly aligned to not only our net zero targets, but also our commitments to stewardship and accountability. We wanted to be able to invest in a low carbon fund that offers institutional investors split voting, so we have even more influence over the simple changes companies can carry out to make a big difference: lowering their carbon emissions, reducing harmful waste and improving their sustainability processes. Now more than ever before, investing in a lower carbon economy is crucial for our future.”

Mark Stockley, Chief Business Development Officer at Carne, commented:

“We are delighted to partner with Smart Pension, Minerva Analytics, Solactive and DWS to provide institutional investors with an innovative solution that allows them to express their voting rights, ensuring climate change and governance issues are addressed by corporate stewards across the globe.”

Sarah Wilson, Chief Executive at Minerva, commented: 

“Pooled index funds are an extremely cost-effective proposition for long-term investors. For too long, however, that has meant compromising on stewardship and voting issues. We’ve always believed that clients can have the best of both worlds: cost effective asset management with a bespoke active voting and engagement strategy built around the client's wishes. We are therefore delighted to partner with Carne and DWS and Smart Pension on this important and timely initiative.”

Read our Smart AMX-DWS Voting Policy here.

About Carne

Established in 2004, Carne makes operations simpler for organisations right across the asset management industry. Expertise in the areas of risk and compliance, due diligence and oversight, distribution and governance come together on a single platform to radically alter the ease and effectiveness with which asset management organisations are able to function.

Carne employs more than 650 people in 8 countries across the globe and is a governance and substance provider for asset managers with more than $1Tn AuM. Carne’s digital platform, Curator, allows asset managers to meet their compliance and regulatory obligations in multiple jurisdictions and puts them in full control of their business, reputational, operational and financial risks. Curator currently supports more than 2,000 Fund structures for managers with $2Tn in AuM.

Watch our video – Carne in 60 seconds to find out more.

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About Minerva

Minerva has over 25 years’ experience supporting asset owners and managers with innovative stewardship support solutions, including proxy vote agency, custom voting policies, sustainable stock lending, SDG mapping and ESG data projects. Minerva continues to innovate and is at the forefront of ESG-centric stewardship for investors. Minerva is now part of Solactive.

About Smart Pension

Launched in 2015, Smart Pension exceeds £5bn in assets under management (AUM) and now serves over one million members and more than 70,000 employers. It is powered by Keystone, Smart’s global savings and investments technology platform.

Aquiline Capital Partners, Barclays, Chrysalis Investments, DWS Group, Fidelity International Strategic Ventures, J.P. Morgan, Legal & General Investment Management, Link Group and Natixis Investment Managers are all investors in Smart Pension.