The Aviva Master Trust Trustees is adopting the ESG-integrated My Future Focus as the standard default investment strategy for the Aviva Master Trust
The scheme’s trustees’ have formulated their own set of ESG investment beliefs which argue taking ESG factors into investment decision making will reduce overall investment risks while generating sustainable returns for members.
My Future Focus consists of both ESG tilted passive and actively managed funds from Aviva Investors’ multi-asset team, investing across asset classes including developed and emerging market equities and government bonds, sterling and global corporate bonds, property and high yield bonds.
Aviva Investors actively managed funds in My Future Focus have ESG factors integrated into the investment processes, incorporating Aviva Investors’ proprietary ESG research.
Where My Future Focus invests in passively managed regional equity funds, Aviva Investors uses its ESG research to tilt these funds towards those companies with a higher ESG score by discarding those ranked in the lowest 10 per cent.
Companies which derive prescribed levels of revenue from controversial weapons and civilian firearms are excluded, together with companies who consistently fail to engage on important ESG issues.
Aviva Investors says it uses engagement and voting to promote sustainable business practices, gain insight and reduce investment risk.
Aviva says it was the first carbon neutral international insurer in 2006 and in 2016 became the first insurance company to declare climate neutrality in collaboration with the United Nation’s Climate Neutral Now campaign
Aviva Investors was a founding signatory of the Carbon Disclosure Project (2001) and the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (2006).
This ESG integration within My Future Focus has already been running for 12 months. The previous default strategy, My Future, will be retained as an alternative default alongside My Future Focus and as a default for those employers who do not wish to move to My Future Focus.
Jon Parker, trustee and chair of the investment sub-committee for the Aviva Master Trust says: “As independent Trustees of the Aviva Master Trust we are passionate about ESG and focussed on ensuring that we are providing our members with default solutions that deliver strong risk adjusted returns whilst investing responsibly and sustainably in alignment with our ESG beliefs.
“ESG is not just about environmental principles, it’s also about the reduction of investment risk for our Master Trust scheme members. We believe that over the long-term companies with strong ESG credentials will outperform companies that do not take their ESG responsibilities seriously.
“My Future Focus provides our members with a really strong and differentiated default solution that meets these objectives at a very competitive cost .
“Aviva Investors has a very strong reputation for Responsible Investment and their active approach to voting and engagement will be a key benefit for our members’.
Aviva head of master trust Martin Palmer says: “We welcome the decision by the Aviva Master Trust Trustees to adopt My Future Focus as the standard default investment strategy for the Aviva Master Trust.
“This development is aligned with Aviva’s overall commitment to ESG across its workplace pensions. In October 2020, Aviva set a 2050 net-zero target for its own auto-enrolment default pension funds.”