Industry Updates

Europe’s first ESG ETF surpasses €1bn AUM

George Geddes

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Swiss ETF issuer UBS Asset Management is the first promoter to see an environmental, social and governance (ESG) ETF surpass the €1bn in assets barrier within Europe.

The UBS ETF MSCI World Socially Responsible UCITS ETF (WSRUSA) listed all the way back in August 2011, taking eight years to pull in €1bn assets under management (AUM).

WSRUSA’s objective is to deliver the performance of the MSCI World Socially Responsible 5% Issuer Capped index. The index includes companies which have a minimum ESG score as well as excluding any company whose products have a negative social or environmental impact. Its top holdings still include US giants Microsoft, Disney and Pepsi.

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The ETF has an expense ratio of 0.25%. This means UBS will be receiving at least €2.5m a year in revenue from the ETF alone, given its AUM doesn’t drop below €1bn.

Along with an impressive AUM, WSRUSA’s performance this year has also been significantly positive. Year-to-date, the ETF has produced returns worth 19.7%.

UBS has 10 socially responsible and ESG ETFs available, as well as numerous currency-hedged versions, including the UBS S&P 500 ESG UCITS ETF which listed in April this year,

Commenting on the milestone, Andrew Walsh, head of passive & ETF specialist sales for UK and Ireland at UBS AM, said: “This milestone represents further confirmation of our commitment to meet the increasingly sophisticated needs of investors.

“We want to continue to stay at the forefront in developing innovative products and solutions for our clients, helping them to align their investments and ESG goals."

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