Issue: February/March 2006
Edutorials
Investec

Introducing the METROPOLITAN SRI FUND

Metropolitan Asset Managers (MetAM) has launched a new Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) product, the Metropolitan SRI Fund. Creation of the new fund is inspired by investors’ need for . an SRI fund that complies with Regulation 28 of the Pension Funds Act. Unlike our existing SRI fund called Futurebuilder, the new fund is designed to satisfy clients who want to invest in the SRI space without having to worry about compliance with Regulation 28.

The Metropolitan SRI Fund is a pooled, balanced fund which invests in equities, bonds, property and cash. It blends into the current MetAM investment process, with an overlay for shares, bonds and property which have an SRI flavour. The use of derivatives is not permitted and the fund has no international exposure.

The Metropolitan SRI Fund is suitable as a component of any major retirement fund with a need to show BEE procurement and/or has a willingness to participate in an SRI fund without jeopardising investment returns.

The portfolio will, as far as possible, build on the success of the Futurebuilder portfolio. Futurebuilder is one of the longest-running SRI portfolios in the country. Active since 1996, it has an impressive performance record for it has beaten its CPIX +4% targeted return by 5.1% per annum. However, Futurebuilder is not compliant with Regulation 28 because it is significantly invested in private equity funds, infrastructure investments, and other unlisted vehicles.

Over the years, MetAM has built significant experience in the management of SRI portfolios. This experience is utilised in management of the new fund. Futurebuilder, besides generating attractive investment returns, has made funding available to ventures which have created more than 48 000 jobs and has led to procurement in excess of R1bn from black companies and SMEs.

The Metropolitan SRI Fund is managed by Godfrey Albertyn who is also responsible for management of the Futurebuilder portfolio. Albertyn says: “The long-term returns which Futurebuilder has achieved clearly illustrate that investors need not give up investment returns while pursuing social goals. The changes in the South African corporate landscape due to black economic empowerment and transformation open significant opportunities to those companies that are correctly positioned. It is therefore quite possible for these companies to outperform their peers and offer good investment opportunities”.

Godfrey Albertyn B.Com, CFA
Portfolio Manager
Contact no: (021) 940 6053