AP1 invests in new Emerging Markets Equity Impact fund of BlackRock

BlackRock has launched the BlackRock Emerging Markets Equity Impact Fund, responding to Swedish pension fund AP1’s wishes to invest with sustainability considerations in the emerging markets. This UCITS fund, available for professional investors, combines data driven return and sustainability insights to deliver a highly diversified portfolio. The strategy’s philosophy was created by BlackRock’s Systematic Active Equity (SAE) Team, which has over 30 years’ experience of innovation and performance across global equity markets and specializes in using technology to improve investment insight. The team is continuously finding ways to use the latest technologies like data science techniques and machine learning to help discover investment opportunities.

The team consists of alpha investors who undertake continuous research that allows the team to develop differentiated views about company characteristics and how companies are positioned in the evolving emerging market landscape of countries, industries, macroeconomic trends, and market conditions. The team manages over $100 billion (as of 31 December 2017) in assets on behalf of global clients

The fund is designed for clients who seek to invest in a way that takes into account measurable social and environmental impact – without compromising on financial return or the need for benchmark awareness. The development of the BlackRock Emerging Markets Equity Impact Fund highlights BlackRock’s commitment to developing sustainable solutions.

Majdi Chammas, Head of External Asset Management and Tina Rönnholm, Portfolio Manager, External Management at Swedish pension fund AP1: “As an asset owner, we are constantly looking at how we can improve our portfolio from a sustainability point of view whilst targeting the returns we need for the pension system. Integrating ESG into investment processes has for a long time been our preferred route, and the use of differentiated, sustainability insights is no longer an obstacle in the emerging markets. We are therefore very pleased to see that our discussions with BlackRock have evolved into the development of this innovative new fund, open to other professional investors as well, where technology can help improve not only investment but also sustainability insights.”

Debbie McCoy, Managing Director and Co-Portfolio Manager, head of Sustainable Investments within the SAE team: “We see a strong interest from clients who want to incorporate portfolio level sustainability considerations alongside traditional financial return targets for all their addressable investment universes including emerging markets.  We are pleased to have the capabilities to deliver this solution for AP1, and respond to the sentiment being expressed by investors, especially in the Nordic region, to expand the sustainable investment universe.”