The Co-operative Investments launches new sustainable investment fund

July 27, 2009

The Co-operative Investments today (27 July 2009) launched a new Unit Trust that will target the investment opportunities emerging from a changing world and a shift in attitudes towards sustainable business practices.

The new Sustainable Diversified Trust will invest in companies well-placed to benefit from fundamental global changes including; the economic importance of emerging countries such as India and China; urban regeneration; the global ageing population; and the impact of climate change.

These investment themes, once regarded as the domain of ethical funds, are increasingly being embraced by the mainstream investment community due to their potential for generating significant returns.

The new fund will be an actively managed multi-asset fund that offers retail investors long-term capital growth and will sit within the IMA Cautious Managed Sector. It is being launched in response to growing investor demand for lower-risk investments and evidence that the financial crisis has led to increased willingness from investors to invest in sustainable businesses that behave in a responsible way.

Zack Hocking, Head of Investments at The Co-operative Investments, said: “The world is changing and it is throwing up some highly attractive opportunities for long-term investors.

“The need to tackle ageing populations, climate change and global power shortage will see significant investment in those areas in coming years.  The Sustainable Diversified Trust will seek out those companies that are well positioned to benefit from addressing these issues.

“We believe this is a good choice for investors with a cautious attitude to risk who want to invest for the medium or long-term.” 

The Trust will be listed in the IMA Cautious Managed Sector and will hold a mix of equities, bonds, cash and property – reducing the risk and volatility experienced with pure equity funds. 

Sustainable Diversified is the first of several new funds planned by The Co-operative Investments that will see a broadening of the sustainable investment product proposition and the development of a suite of funds that will complement the highly successful Sustainable Leaders Trust.

To mark the launch of the new fund, anyone investing over £10k into the Sustainable Diversified Trust before 28 August 2009 will receive 2 per cent discount from the initial charge, usually 5 per cent.  Those interested in investing should telephone 08457 46 46 46 or visit

The Sustainable Diversified fund will be managed by The Co-operative Asset Management (TCAM).  Fund manager is Linda Desforges, who takes over following more than two years overseeing its multi-manger funds.  Sustainable Leaders Fund Manager, Mike Fox, will undertake the stock selection for the equity component of the new fund.

Through its responsible investment expertise and the success of its Sustainable Leaders unit trust, The Co-operative Asset Management has built significant expertise in sustainable investment themes with many already at the heart of its entire unit trust portfolio.

TCAM uses a unique investment approach which integrates ESG analysis along financial analysis.  It believes this approach makes for more informed investment decision-making.


Notes to Editors:

Minimum Investment

Lump sum £1,000 or £50 per month


Asset mix

The Sustainable Diversified Trust will hold an asset mix of up to 60 per cent equities (including properties) and up to 80 per cent fixed interest (including cash).  It can also hold up to 20 per cent in alternative investments.



In line with the fund’s remit to invest sustainably, it will not invest in companies involved in armaments, animal testing for cosmetic purposes, tobacco or mining.


Fund Manager

Linda Desforges is Senior Fund Manager and has been previously responsible TCAM’s multi-manger funds since their launch in April 2006. Linda joined the CFS in 1989 as a research analyst for the Fixed Income team before moving to the overseas equity team in 1991.  Portfolio management responsibilities were assumed in 1993 and in 2000 Linda was appointed head of North American Equities.  In 2006 Linda moved to her current role within the External Provider Management section. Linda has a B.A. (Hons) in Economics from Manchester University and is an Associate member of CFA UK.

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  • The Co-operative Investments is part of The Co-operative Financial Services (CFS).  CFS is the financial services business of The Co-operative Group, which is the world’s largest consumer co-operative with over 3 million members. CFS currently has 5.5m customers and employs over 8,000 staff. It has 116 retail and corporate branches/centres and over 1,000 face to face financial advisers. It has £38bn of assets under management across its retail and corporate business areas
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For further information contact:

Andy Hammerton
The Co-operative Financial Services
0161 903 3831 3835