Wheb Asset Management
IM Wheb Sustainability Fund
Aim: Growth by investing globally on a thematic basis in companies in the clean energy, water, pollution control and healthcare sectors
Minimum investment: Lump sum £3,000, Isa £1,000, monthly £100
Investment split: 36% climate change, 32% water, 32% demographics
Isa link: Yes
Charges: Initial 5%, annual 1.5%
Commission: Initial 3%, renewal 0.5%
Tel: 020 7299 4141
The IM Wheb sustainability fund is an Oeic that aims for growth by investing globally in companies that provide solutions to environmental problems, water shortage, waste management and an ageing population. It will look for companies that have the potential to be future market leaders and that are growing faster than the economy.
Climate change is believed to be driving investment opportunities in areas such as clean energy, energy efficiency and clean transport. Legislation, concerns over security and supply of energy, and the need to reduce energy costs are seen as drivers wind generation, solar power, low energy lighting and air pollution control.
Factors driving the water theme include population growth, climate change, and an ageing infrastructure. These may lead to opportunities in infrastructure upgrades, water treatment, testing, filtration and sewerage. Healthcare products and services are also of interest due to factors such as an ageing population and greater awareness of health and fitness.
The Ethical Partnership director Jeremy Newbegin says: “This a new fund from a new fund management group. However, both fund managers have good experience. Nicola Donnelly has managed sustainable and charity funds since 2000 at JPMorgan, CIS and UBS, while Clare Brook has managed sustainable/environmental funds since 1990, atJupiter, NPI/Henderson, and Morley (Aviva).”
Newbegin says that the managers’ experience gives him confidence that the fund has every chance of performing well over the medium to long term.
Looking at the fund’s suitability to the market, Newbegin regards this as a welcome addition to the socially responsible investment stable. “This is an Oeic with a minimum initial investment of £3,000. It offers exciting growth prospects over the medium to long term and is also offered as an Isa with a minimum investment of £1,000. There is also a regular savings plan with a minimum of £100 a month,” he says.
Looking at the useful features of the fund Newbegin says: “This is a global fund with three very interesting themes – all of which have an exciting future. These are renewable energy, water and health.”
Newbegin observes that the fund aims to outperform its benchmark, the MSCI World Index. “Interestingly, it also aims to produce stable returns over an economic cycle by diversifying across themes and having the ability to position itself defensively,” he says.
Discussing the product literature Newbegin says: “Having fact Sheets for both retail investors and professional investors is good idea and provides enough information, but I would recommend that the simplified prospectus should also be read.”
He feels that the commission payable on this fund is not relevant as the adviser can charge a fee for their services.
He notes that the fund has a 5 per cent initial charge plus a 1.5 per cent annual management charge. “The annual charge is high because of extra research is needed,” he says
Considering the potential drawbacks of the fund, Newbeginn says: “I would like for there to be income units as well as accumulation units. There is a regular withdrawal facility, but it will work adversely for the investor during a bear market as more units will need to be cashed to meet the regular withdrawal amount requested.”
Scanning the market for funds that could provide competition to the Wheb fund Newbegin says: “There is no fund with the same objectives. The nearest would be Aviva’s sustainable future global growth fund.”
Suitability to market: Good
Investment strategy: Good