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RIAA awards American Century certification

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MEDIA RELEASE: The American Century Healthcare Impact Equity strategy has been awarded responsible investment certification by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA).

This certification also applies to the Zurich Investments ACI Healthcare Impact Fund which is available to investors in Australia and is distributed by Zurich Investment Management Limited.

While a growing number of Australian-domiciled equity funds are RIAA-certified, only a small number of impact-based funds have passed the test.

The Fund is a differentiated growth portfolio which invests in companies in the health care industry, and has an underlying investment philosophy that aligns with the third United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal of good health and well-being.

American Century’s interim head of Asia Pacific, Elizabeth Trinh, said the manager is particularly pleased that RIAA has certified the strategy as one of a very select number of funds to be recognised for their impact.

“It’s testament to the work by the investment team who employ a number of responsible investing strategies to the process, including negative screening, engagement and voting, and ESG integration.

“All companies in the portfolio undergo analysis on how business improvements align with a positive impact on society. The Fund doesn’t invest in businesses it believes are inconsistent with its objective of generating positive social change.

“The strategy continues to attract strong demand from Australian institutional investors, and we anticipate the certification will only strengthen the level of interest in the Fund,” she said.

The strategy was established in 2018 and currently has $US1.58 billion in assets under management globally. It is a high-conviction portfolio which seeks to provide long-term growth by investing in 30-50 health care companies addressing significant unmet medical needs.

Michael Li, portfolio manager of the Fund, says the global pandemic shone a light on the health care sector as a means of generating both financial and social good.

“Healthcare has the potential to be one of the most rewarding areas for investment in the long term, allowing investors to benefit financially while also supporting a tremendous social good.

“The certification is recognition that our impact investing process is robust and effective. Our approach is to consistently look for those companies who can provide solutions to unmet medical needs, and the ability to do well by doing good has never been more important,” he said.

RIAA CEO Simon O’Connor said: “RIAA’s Responsible Investment Certification Program differentiates quality, true to label responsible investment products which meet the Responsible Investment Standard. We congratulate American Century for meeting not only the high benchmark set for certification for its Healthcare Impact Equity Strategy, but the extra requirements for financial products trading as ‘impact’.”

RIAA is a member-based organisation advocating for responsible investing and a sustainable financial system. It’s comprised of super funds, fund managers, banks, consultants, researchers, brokers and financial advisers, among others.

With 500 members, including American Century Investments, representing US$29 trillion in assets under management, RIAA is the largest and most active network of organisations engaged in responsible, ethical and impact investing across Australia and New Zealand.

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