Norwich Union Investment Funds is launching six new socially responsible funds at the end of February as part of a new SRI Oeic.
The move will give the fund manager one of the biggest SRI fund ranges in the UK. It follows seven members of Henderson's SRI team joining the company last August.
The six funds, which are subject to FSA approval, will be a corporate bond, UK growth, absolute growth, glo bal growth, European growth and managed funds.
The funds will have a minimum investment of £500 or £50 a month and an initial charge of 4 per cent. The annual fee will be 1 per cent for the corporate bond fund and 1.5 per cent for the rest of the range. Commission is 3 per cent initial, with 0.25 per cent trail on the corporate bond fund and 0.5 per cent on the other five funds NUIF head of SRI Clare Brook says: “We believe the companies and industries that will perform best in the 21st Century are precisely those that consider how their act ions will affect the world in 25 or 50 years time.
“We expect companies with such vision to be best placed to seize the opportunities arising from environmental, social and political change.
“The widely held notion that socially responsible inv estment necessarily produces inferior performance is wholly wrong. Numerous socially responsible investment funds have consist ently outperfor med their mainstream equivalents.
“This is not an idealistic approach to investing. Env ironmental and social issues regularly affect stock prices with dramatic results.”
Plan Invest joint managing director Michael Owen says: “SRI is becoming more important for us. The public is definitely much more interested in environmental and social issues these days.
“Norwich Union's administration certainly leaves a lot to be desired but, in principle, I am interested in these funds.”