Wells Fargo Asset Management (WFAM) this week launched the Wells Fargo Municipal Sustainability Fund, the latest innovation in its bid to take a leading role in the sustainable investing space. The fund utilises a municipal bond assessment framework that WFAM developed in-house through the WFAM ESG Impact Framework, a partnership involving municipal bond professionals and ESG analysts.
The fund invests in securities that are assessed to have positive environmental or social impact at the bond or issuer level. The investment process also includes a top-down macroeconomic assessment and a bottom-up fundamental security analysis. It is managed by WFAM’s Municipal Fixed Income team, a 28-member investment team with a long track record in national and specialty state municipal bond portfolios.
“We are proud to launch the Municipal Sustainability Fund and to assist our clients in their search for returns and sustainable investment options,” says Nico Marais, CEO of WFAM. “We are committed to being a leading player in sustainable investing, and this fund offers a great combination of our investment expertise and ESG capabilities.”
Hannah Skeates, global head of Sustainable Investing at WFAM, adds: “It’s important for us to play a role in building the new constructs that the industry requires for robust sustainable investing. The WFAM ESG Impact Framework is the result of detailed work to take respected global principles and develop a process for applying those principles to individual municipal securities. We are excited to help lead the way in the evolution of this important area of investing.”
The fund is managed by Wendy Casetta, Terry Goode and Robert Miller, veteran senior portfolio managers with the WFAM Municipal Fixed Income team. The Municipal Fixed Income team manages US$40 billion (as of December 31, 2019) across 16 strategies.