This Sub-Fund invests primarily in small cap equities issued by companies registered in or carrying a major part of their commercial activities in Japan
It promotes environmental and social characteristics but does not have as its objective sustainable investment.
This Sub-Fund promotes environmental characteristics by targeting a lower carbon footprint than its benchmark, the MSCI Japan Small Cap NR, paying attention to issuers’ activities, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate strategy in order to maintain the Sub-Fund’s weighted average carbon intensity below that of its benchmark.
This Sub-Fund also promotes social characteristics by aiming to have a better corporate sustainability than its benchmark through the exclusions of companies in breach of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).
The benchmark is a standard reference representing the Sub-Fund’s universe but is not aligned with the environmental and social characteristics promoted by this Sub-Fund.
The Investment Manager takes into consideration and seeks to minimize the following potential principal adverse impacts of its investments: 1) GHG Intensity of Investee Companies, 2) Violations of UN Global Compact principles and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and 3) Exposure to Controversial Weapons.
The ESG approach starts with the filtering of the investment universe which includes both norm-based screening and the exclusion of some controversial activities.
This is followed by a phase of ESG integration which aims to combine financial and extra-financial (ESG) analyses.
ESG analysis includes Independent and forward-looking review of stocks ESG risks and opportunities relying on internal and external research. This leads to favour stocks with reduced carbon footprint as well as good governance characteristics as assessed by internal research, which relies on active dialogue with companies’ management as well as other sources of information.
The Investment Manager assesses good governance practices through its fundamental research sourced from company meetings, which is supplemented and cross-checked by ESG data from third-party service providers.
The ESG analysis, whether conducted internally or externally, covers 100% of the portfolio’s equity holdings.
This Sub-Fund intends to have a minimum of 90% of its assets aligned with the environmental and social characteristics promoted.
The binding criteria used to attain each of the environmental and/or social characteristics promoted by the Sub-Fund are integrated in control systems, to ensure pre- and post‑trade checks. Compliance is monitored by the Risk department on an ongoing basis.
The Investment Manager may use data reported directly by issuers or sourced from third-party data providers such as MSCI ESG Research or Sustainalytics. The service and data quality provided by third-party ESG data providers are reviewed regularly.
Depending on the metric considered, some data may be estimated by data providers. Although the Investment Manager applies a thorough selection process of third-party providers, their processes and proprietary ESG methodology may be flawed. As a result, there is a risk of incorrectly assessing an issuer, resulting in an inappropriate capture of ESG risks and potential incorrect inclusion or exclusion in the product. This is expected to have limited impact on the overall environmental and/or social characteristics promoted by the product.
The investment due diligence process ensures that the investment decisions comply with the objectives and the investment strategy of the Sub-Fund. The consideration of sustainability-related risks is integrated into the investment decision-making process to ensure better-informed investment decisions as well as awareness of the risk exposure. The first level of due diligence is conducted by the Investment Manager, while the second level is conducted by the Risk department.
Engagement with investee companies can be conducted collaboratively as well as directly by the Investment Manager.
The Investment Manager exercises its voting rights, in line with the voting policy which follows sustainability principles.
No reference benchmark has been designated for the purpose of attaining the environmental or social characteristics promoted by this Sub-Fund.
For more information, please see the fund’s Sustainability-related disclosures.