Boutique fund manager, Altius Asset Management has launched a new product - the Altius Sustainable Bond fund.
Announcing the launch this week, the company described the product as being "a diversified Australian fixed interest portfolio designed to align with investors' personal and social values without compromising investment returns over the long term".
Commenting on the product, Altius chief investment officer, Bill Bovingdon said he believed every well-diversified investment portfolio should include an exposure to bonds but investors seeking responsible investment choices in fixed income have had few options available to them.
"Unfortunately there are limited investment options available to investors looking for fixed interest investments managed with regard to environmental, social and corporate governance principles. As a result, fixed income may have been left out of their investment portfolios, which has restricted diversification and performance," he said.
Explaining the product, Bovingdon said bonds would automatically be excluded from the fund's investment universe if the primary business activity of the issuer was clearly at odds with the fund's ESG principles. This includes activities such as production of armaments, uranium and tobacco.
"The remaining investment universe is screened in line with the Altius Sustainability Policy, with companies in the universe given a sustainability rating which is incorporated into the portfolio construction process," he said.