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Ethical investment "a core pillar" of F&C strategy

08 October 2009 / by Rachael Stiles

Investment company F&C has voiced its commitment to ethical investing, describing it as "a core pillar of the group's strategy" for the future.

Speaking to the House of Commons this week, Alan Grisay, chief executive of F&C Asset Management, marked the twenty fifth anniversary of Friend's Provident's Stewardship Growth Fund by pledging to build on its success, and to further develop its ethical investment stance.

F&C manages the range of the Stewardship funds, which have the largest share of ethically screened funds among UK retail investors. The range includes the Stewardship Growth Fund, launched in 1984, and its sister funds, Stewardship International and Stewardship Income.

The launch of F&C's first ethical fixed income fund, the F&C Ethical Bond Fund, saw the group enhance the development of its ethical product range, and it will also launch its Sharia-compliant global equity ethical fund later this year.

In addition to developing funds under the wider umbrella of ethical investment, F&C has also launched the F&C Global Climate Opportunities Fund - a thematic fund focused on environmental issues.

Mr Grisay lauded the "vision and foresight" of the Stewardship fund's architects, launching an ethical investment fund in 1984 when scepticism of investing in ethical funds was rife.

But, as "bold" as this move might have seemed in the 1980s, its architects have been "vindicated by the growing demand for funds that cater for the ethical investor," he said.

"F&C will continue to apply bold thinking in the field of socially responsible investing. As we rightly celebrate the past achievements of Stewardship it is also important that we look to the future and do so with the determination to reinforce our leadership in this area."

F&C will continue to expand the presence of the Stewardship funds into markets where ethical investment is still in its early stages, Mr Grisay determined, in addition to pioneering new products and services.

"Responsible investment is part of F&C's ‘DNA' and it will be a core pillar of F&C's future growth as a newly independent company," he concluded.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd

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