Interactive Investor

ii ACE 40 investments:
Threadneedle UK Social Bond Fund

ii Ace 40
Asset GroupAsset Sub-GroupInvestment Category
Fixed IncomeSterling bondsAdventurous

Why we recommend it

Tammie Tang assumed responsibility for the fund at the end of June 2022 ahead of the planned retirement of Simon Bond in March 2023. Bond was the original architect of the fund and hired Tang to work alongside him 10 years ago, appointing her as the fund’s deputy manager in October 2017. Following his retirement, Bond will continue as a member of the fund’s established social advisory committee. Tang will be supported by a further two deputy managers as well as the wider well-resourced team of investment grade analysts and the responsible investment analyst team.

The fund seeks to deliver a corporate bond like return but with a positive impact and has a twin objective of achieving both a financial return and delivering a social impact. The financial strength of all investments is key and is the starting point for consideration for inclusion in the portfolio. In addition to this, every investment is evaluated for its social good characteristics with the portfolio seeking to have a minimum exposure of 80% to UK outcomes. The portfolio is constructed from the bottom up and from a duration, yield and ratings perspective has a profile which is very similar to that of its benchmark, the BofA Merrill Lynch 1-10 Year Sterling Non-Gilt Index.

Over the long term we would expect the fund to deliver benchmark-like returns and for the fund’s quality bias to lead to outperformance during periods of market weakness.

The fund offers a unique approach to sustainable investing, both in terms of evidence gathering and influencing how the issuers can do more through engagement. The team is well-resourced and while Bond’s departure is a loss to the fund, his continued involvement via the social advisory committee is a positive. Tang’s long tenure, involvement and commitment to the fund should provide welcome continuity.

The fund offers a unique approach to sustainable investing, and a key part of the approach is through engagement, both in terms of evidence gathering and influencing how the issuers can do more. While Bond’s departure is a loss to the fund, his continued involvement via the social advisory committee is a positive and Tang’s long tenure, involvement and commitment to the fund, should provide continuity that helps mitigate this loss. Tang will also benefit from the direct support of two experienced deputy managers and the well-resourced experienced team of investment analysts, as well as the additional support of the responsible investment team.

Ethical criteria

ii ACE sustainable style: Embraces. This means the fund adopts a targeted or proactive approach to ethical investing, in an effort to make a positive impact and/or environmental outcomes.

Fund EcoMarket category: Social Themed. These funds typically focus on ‘people issues’ (such as employment and basic necessities of life). Social themed fund managers focus significantly on societal benefits when analysing companies for investment.

The risks

Ethical screening: In certain market conditions the performance of the fund may differ significantly from others in the peer group that do not invest primarily in bonds issued by entities engaged in socially beneficial activities.

Information and data compiled to March 2023.

Risk warnings

The information we provide in the ACE investments list does not constitute a "personal recommendation". You should ensure that any investment decisions you make are suitable for your personal circumstances and that the ethical style of the investment reflects your personal beliefs.

Past performance of the underlying constituents is not a guarantee of future performance. Remember, the value of investments, and any income from them, can fall as well as rise so you could get back less than you invest.

Annual performance can be found on the factsheet of each fund, trust or ETF. Simply click on the asset’s name and then the performance tab.

If you are unsure about the suitability of a particular investment or think that you need a personal recommendation, you should speak to a suitably qualified financial advisor.

Any changes to the ii ACE investments list and the rationale behind those decisions will be communicated through the Quarterly Investment Review.

Details of all recommendations issued by ii during the previous 12 month period can be found here.

ii adheres to a strict code of conduct. Members of ii staff may hold shares in companies mentioned in the ii ACE investments list, which could create a conflict of interest. Any member of staff intending to complete some research about any financial instrument in which they have an interest are required to disclose such interest to ii. We will at all times consider whether such interest impairs the objectivity of the recommendation.

In addition, staff involved in the production of this ii ACE list are subject to a personal account dealing restriction. This prevents them from placing a transaction in the specified instrument(s) for five working days before and after an investment is included or amended and made public within the list. This is to avoid personal interests conflicting with the interests of the recipients of this ii ACE investments list.