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Rathbone joins &#39select group&#39 of ethical bond fund providers

Rathbone Unit Trust Management is this week launching a bond fund which will invest in firms that take a positive approach to ethical issues.

The fund, which Rathbone says is only the third of its type in the retail market, will target investment-grade bonds rated BBB or above. The fund will also be available as an Isa.

It will be run predominantly by Luke Hickmore, who has worked in Rathbone&#39s ethical team for eight years, with help from deputy chief investment officer Julian Chillingworth.

Rathbone says the fund will have a wide array of investment options because only a tiny percentage of the bond market is made up of unethical companies compared with 30 per cent of the equity market.

The fund will offer a net yield of 5.2 per cent, to be paid quarterly, and is available until May 13 at an offer price of 100p. There is an initial charge of 4 per cent and annual fee of 1.25 per cent. Commission is 3 per cent.

Managing director Peter Pearson Lund says: “There is a distinct lack of lower-risk, quality, ethically screened bond funds in the market. We have successfully provided this form of investment for private clients for a considerable time.”

Plan Invest joint managing director Michael Owen says: “The bond joins a very select group which, as ethical investment seems to be taking off quite sharply, could become increasingly popular. It is also fairly low risk, which seems to be a sensible approach.”

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