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Wave of criticism for climate fund

Advisers have slammed Virgin Money’s new climate change fund, claiming it has an excessive charging structure and can easily invest in companies that damage the environment.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of SRI Alex Davies says that the biggest problem is the 20 per cent performance fee for beating the Bank of England base rate, which he sees as a straightforward goal for outsourced US hedge fund firm GLG Partners.

He says: “This goal is hardly demanding in most markets. You also have to look at the list of possible stock options in the GLG environment fund – a similar vehicle already run by the firm – with Renault, Xstrata and BG Group included. Car, mining and gas companies are not exactly three traits of climate change.”

Seventy-five per cent of the fund targets companies with lighter than average environmental footprints for their sector. Virgin Money head of PR Scott Mowbray says: “This fund is suitable for European and ethically friendly investors as we do not believe people want to invest ethically for a slap on the back but to make money. As for the fee, we chose BoE base rate as it offers a positive return in all markets as opposed to getting fees from a negative index that will see investors lose money.”


Baring looking at Asia and Euro income

Baring Asset Management is considering setting up new Asia and income funds this year.Marketing director Ian Pascal says the firm is keen to build up in Asia and has sounded out a single-country fund.He says: “It is a logical addition, given the regional nature of the range we have, such as the Korean trust.”Pascal says […]

Brown calls for global financial regulator

Gordon Brown believes a worldwide financial watchdog should be established to avoid another global credit crisis, according to the Daily Telegraph.Brown wants institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to be reformed to focus more on identifying rapidly changing economic conditions and warn against global market disruptions before they become too […]

Hain quits after donations scandal referred to police

Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain has quit the Cabinet after the Electoral Commission referred the issue of his deputy leader campaign donations to the Metropolitan Police.Hain, who was also Wales Secretary, said in a statement: “In view of the Electoral Commission decision today, I will be resigning to clear my name and I will […]

Bond aid

The Northern Rock endgame moved a stage closer this week after the Government agreed to convert the stricken lender’s Bank of England loan into state-backed bonds.


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