Ninety One Sustainable and AXA Metaverse fund launches

13 April 2022

Ninety One and AXA have both launched new funds into growing trends in the market.

Ninety One has launched the Global Sustainable Equity Strategy, an active, long-term global equity solution focused on sustainability leaders. The investment manager said the strategy is investing “for a world transitioning towards a more sustainable future”, including not just the carbon externality but broader externalities that impact a company’s employees, wider society and the natural world.

It will be managed by Stephanie Niven, who joined Ninety One last year from Aviva Investors.

Niven said: “We believe the world’s measure of success is shifting from the  zero-sum game – where shareholder value is maximised at the expense of other stakeholders – into a world where considering multiple stakeholders in business decisions creates greater value for all.”

Mimi Ferrini, co-chief investment officer at Ninety One, said: “The broadening of our global sustainable equity offering is another milestone in Ninety One’s drive to put sustainability at the core of our business. However, providing sustainability with substance is key and it is imperative that we develop solutions to address the challenges investors are facing as the world transitions to a more sustainable growth model.”

Fellow investment manager, Axa Investment Managers has launched the AXA WF Metaverse fund that aims to invest in companies which play a part in the convergence of the digital and physical world.

Making up part of AXA IM’s thematic equity fund range, the new strategy will invest across four key sub themes; gaming, socialising, working, and enabling.

It will be managed by Pauline Llandric, alongside co-managers Tom Riley and Jeremy Gleeson who currently run AXA IM’s Robotech and Digital Economy strategies respectively.

Commenting on the launch, Pauline Llandric, lead manager of the AXA WF Metaverse fund, said: “We are at the early stages of a long-term trend which is growing rapidly and believe there is a broad range of global companies and opportunities in this space. Revolutionary, cutting edge advances in technology have changed how we live, socialise, work and do business.

“The Metaverse is the confluence of the virtual and physical worlds, where more technology is layered on to everyday life associated with the evolution of the internet connecting people, places and things.”

The current Metaverse universe is made up of around 250 stocks and AXA-IM will select the best 40-60 stocks deemed most relevant.

Mark Hargraves, global head of AXA IM Equity, added: “We believe AXA IM is one of the first active thematic Metaverse investors and this fund launch builds on our established history in long-term thematic investment. The Metaverse is an expanding and tangible investment opportunity driven by real companies with the potential to deliver strong year-on-year growth over the next decade.

“With a global customer base, we expect to see an increasing number of companies emerging from new sectors such as healthcare and financials as capabilities increase to bolster the promising investment opportunities in this space.”

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