Liontrust, the UK-based specialist fund management company, has confirmed that all three of its Irish-domiciled GF Sustainable Future funds are being classified as ‘Article 9’ under the new Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).
The Article 9 classification, the highest of three grades, applies to the Liontrust GF Sustainable Future European Corporate Bond, GF Sustainable Future Global Growth and GF Sustainable Future Pan European Growth funds, verifying their sustainable investment objective with a strong ESG focus.
SFDR is central to the EU’s sustainable finance framework and comes into force on 10 March 2021. It aims to tackle ‘greenwashing’ by introducing mandatory disclosures on a fund’s ESG characteristics and the extent to which they inform its investment process in a standardised way, aiding comparability.
Liontrust has given significant consideration to its internal classification process, with particular focus on ensuring that the funds are not only compliant with the letter of SFDR but also the spirit.
The three GF Sustainable Future funds receiving Article 9 classification are managed by Liontrust’s award winning Sustainable Investment team which has been running ESG strategies for 20 years. The Liontrust Sustainable Investment team manages £9.28 billion across its UK and Irish domiciled strategies (as at 31 December 2020). The funds are the Liontrust GF Sustainable Future European Corporate Bond Fund, the Liontrust GF Sustainable Future Global Growth Fund and the Liontrust GF Sustainable Future Pan European Growth funds.
The Liontrust Sustainable Investment team has also been managing a range of UK-domiciled Sustainable Future funds since 2001 which are not covered by the SFDR.
Significant consideration has been given to our internal classification process, with particular focus on ensuring that we are not only compliant with the letter of SFDR but also the spirit. We have set strict standards for our products to classify as Article 9 and are confident that the Sustainable Future funds meet not only our expectations of a true sustainable investment product but also that of the regulator and our clients.
The SFDR forms a key part of the EU’s overall sustainable finance framework and comes into force on 10 March 2021.
It aims to tackle ‘greenwashing’ within financial markets by introducing mandatory disclosure requirements on the Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) features of financial products. These disclosures are intended to provide greater transparency on the degree to which sustainability considerations drive how the investment process is managed, requiring firms to provide information in a standardised way, aiding comparability.