TOBAM underlines ESG credentials as all of its Anti-Benchmark strategies meet SFDR Article 8 classification criteria

The Anti-Benchmark Strategies managed by TOBAM, founder of the Maximum Diversification approach, have all met Article 8 classification criteria under the EU’s new Sustainable Financial Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), reflecting the extent to which they promote environmental and social considerations.

Sustainability has been a major focus since TOBAM was established in 2005, and is incorporated into all aspects of the company’s investment activities and assets under management. As a research-driven business, TOBAM places particular emphasis on taking a data-led approach to integrate responsible investment considerations in a pragmatic, scientific way to meet investors’ long-term sustainability goals.

Notably, this had included using raw reported data (rather than the much more limited scoring and ratings provided by third-party suppliers) to guide the ESG assessments that TOBAM incorporates into its investment policy. This approach ensures that portfolio construction can be undertaken in a wholly transparent and objective way. It also allows TOBAM to precisely measure the impact of investment activity. This focus on data is also a key element of TOBAM’s voting and engagement practices. It is able to target companies (both equities and fixed income issuers) failing to meet key ESG standards such as reporting on their carbon emissions.

In addition to meeting SFDR Article 8 criteria, TOBAM’s longstanding commitment to sustainability has been reflected through the recognition it has received from leading industry bodies (including LuxFLAG and PRI), along with the work it has undertaken for leading institutional investors. Most recently, TOBAM partnered with a leading pension scheme to adopt a new fossil-free approach to managing emerging market equity and global high yield portfolios. TOBAM now applies a 100 per cent fossil-fuel free approach to the Anti-Benchmark® Emerging Markets Equity and Global High Yield funds which employ TOBAM’s proprietary Maximum Diversification methodology. This results in the exclusion of companies with significant involvement in the production, sales or extraction of fossil fuels (including coal, coal power generation, oil and gas) from the investment universes of both strategies.

Effective since March 2021, the SFDR seeks to improve levels of transparency in relation to sustainability by requiring financial market participants to meet mandatory disclosure obligations. Under the terms of the regulation, Article 8 funds promote environmental or social characteristics and follow good governance practices through the provision of information on how environmental and social criteria are met.

Christophe Roehri, Deputy CEO of TOBAM, says: “Sustainable and responsible investing is now a critical consideration for all investors, and is an area where we strongly believe that a data-driven, quantitative investment approach can provide sizeable advantages. Not only does this allow investors to objectively assess securities from an ESG perspective, it means they can clearly and exactly understand the impact that investment decisions have. Throughout its history, TOBAM has been evolving our research, portfolio construction and engagement activities to meet best practices standards in sustainability. Meeting the Article 8 criteria of SFDR for 100 per cent of our Anti-Benchmark strategies reflects the significant efforts made over the last 15 years, and we remain fully committed to continuing to develop our capabilities in this area for the benefit of investors.”