Fund Manager Focus – Mike Fox, Royal London, Sustainable Leaders Trust Fund
Mike Fox has been running the Royal London (formerly CS) Sustainable Leaders Trust fund since September 2003; long before the trend of Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) investing became mainstream. Fox joined Royal London following their acquisition of The Co-Operative Asset Management in 2013 and is Head of Sustainable Investment at the group.
As part of our selection criteria, we prefer managers who have demonstrable track records of producing above average returns on a persistent basis over time, employing robust and repeatable investment processes. During his career, Fox has returned 556.34% compared to 267.26% for the sector average¹. Over the 17 calendar years of his tenure, Fox has outperformed his respective peer group an incredible 13 times. It is this ability to frequently outperform that makes him one of our preferred UK equity managers – regardless of the restrictions that running ethical money imposes.
The fund has evolved over time, shifting away from solely omitting companies which are engaged in poor practices to seeking companies which make the world a better place. There are still explicit rules around not investing in fossil fuel extractors, tobacco, armaments and nuclear power, but with a focus on companies which promote good environmental, social and governance practices.
The fund has been a feature of our ethical/SRI models since their foundation in April 2016, but is now also included in our unconstrained models, as a result of the strong performance he has delivered, as well as meeting wider ethical objectives.
¹Source: Financial Express Analytics, Total Return, Bid to Bid, GBP£, 3rd November 2003 to 31st August 2021
Investors beware: all investments are not the same. It is unwise to buy investments based on past performance – it isn’t a guide to future performance; funds take different investment approaches, and the capital value and the income generated can fall as well as rise.