Investment Product and Service Launches

Natixis releases international sustainable equity fund; Putnam to host webcasts on fixed income markets; and Fitch Ratings launches ESG Scoring System. 

Art by Jackson Epstein

Art by Jackson Epstein

Natixis Releases International Sustainable Equity Fund

Natixis Investment Managers has launched the Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund (MRVYX), an international equity mutual fund which utilizes Mirova’s sustainable investing experience.

The fund became effective December 28. The Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund is an all-cap international equity fund that seeks long-term capital appreciation. The fund also seeks to maximize exposure to companies with a positive impact on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, while avoiding companies whose activities or products have a negative impact on or create risk to achieving such goals.

“At Mirova, we believe there’s an inextricable link between long-term value creation and sustainability,” says Jens Peers, CFA, chief investment officer, Sustainable Equities, at Mirova. “We feel that investors should be connected to the real world economy by investing in innovative businesses that play a real role in building a sustainable world, and therefore, we are giving investors the opportunity to be actively involved in improving corporate environmental, social and governance practices.”

Mirova takes a thematic approach, investing in companies they believe present opportunities and solutions related to sustainable development themes derived from long-term transitions—demographics, environmental issues, technological advances, and governance changes. Research is conducted to select companies they believe are well-managed, are expected to benefit from strong, sustainable competitive advantages, and have demonstrated a solid financial structure while avoiding irresponsible risks. Managers invest in securities trading at significant discounts to what they believe are their intrinsic values.

“We are pleased to provide investors with an opportunity to further diversify their portfolios in an international equity fund that draws on the expertise of our affiliate Mirova,” says David Giunta, CEO for the U.S. and Canada at Natixis Investment Managers. “Through the fund, investors are able to gain access to the growth potential associated with long-term, sustainable investment themes. In doing so, they are also potentially improving the carbon footprint and sustainability profile of their overall portfolio.” 

Putnam to Host Webcasts on Fixed Income Markets

Putnam Investments will hold a webcast on Wednesday, January 16 at 1:15 p.m. ET for Putnam Master Intermediate Income Trust and Putnam Premier Income Trust. The webcast, featuring Bill Kohli, CIO of Fixed Income, will provide an update on the fixed income markets, including discussion of interest rates, Fed policy and the economy, and the current positioning and performance of the funds.

In addition, Putnam will hold a webcast on Thursday, January 17 at 1:15 p.m. ET for Putnam Municipal Opportunities Trust and Putnam Managed Municipal Income Trust. In this session, Putnam portfolio managers Paul M. Drury, CFA, and Garrett L. Hamilton, CFA, will provide updates on the municipal bond market given rising rates and tax law changes, as well as insights into the current performance and positioning of the funds.

Investors and advisers can join both webcasts by registering on the firm’s investor or adviser websites at and

Fitch Ratings Launches ESG Scoring System

Fitch Ratings has launched a new integrated scoring system which shows how environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors impact individual credit rating decisions.

The new ESG Relevance Scores, which have been produced by Fitch’s analytical teams, display both the relevance and materiality of ESG elements to the rating decision. They are sector-based and entity-specific.

Using a standardized and transparent scoring system, Fitch is introducing ESG Relevance Scores across all asset classes, starting with over 1,500 non-financial corporate ratings. This will be followed by banks, non-bank financial institutions, insurance, sovereigns, public finance, global infrastructure and structured finance.

Fitch’s ESG approach aims to publicly disclose how an ESG issue directly affects a company’s current credit rating. Fitch is the first credit rating agency (CRA) to systematically publish an opinion about how ESG issues are relevant and material to individual entity credit ratings. Fitch is initially making all of its ESG Relevance Scores available in the public domain, and will then maintain and publish the scores on an ongoing basis as an integrated part of its entity credit research.

“We actively engaged with investors and other market participants to understand what they want to see from credit rating agencies before devising the new relevance scores,” says Andrew Steel, global head of Sustainable Finance, Fitch Ratings. “Our focus is purely on fundamental credit analysis and so our ESG Relevance Scores are solely aimed at addressing ESG in that context. The scores do not make value judgements on whether an entity engages in good or bad ESG practices, but draw out which E, S, and G risk elements are influencing the credit rating decision. We have taken a fully integrated approach to ESG which will see the scores being done by our existing analytical teams rather than centrally.”

For rated entities with Fitch Ratings Navigators, ESG Relevance Scores will be published during Q1 2019, as well as a selection of standalone ESG Relevance Scores for entities in asset classes that currently do not have the Ratings Navigator product.