News in brief: 16 October

- Skandia has invested SEK 365m in a water bond issued by the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB).

The five-year bond comprises a total of SEK 1.5bn and will finance investments in the protection and conservation of aquatic environments, for example water purification or water-related climate projects. The ‘Nordic – Baltic Blue Bond by NIB’ has a triple-A rating of Standard and Poor’s, and Moody’s. Skandia head of asset management, Lars-Göran Orrevall, commented: “The investment in a blue bond fits well into Skandia's climate roadmap, where we are phasing out fossil investments and making more green investments. The goal is to reduce our holding in fossil fuels by 75 percent by 2025.”

- BNY Mellon has been reselected by Swedish pension fund, AP7, for global custody, continuing a 14-year relationship.

BNY Mellon provides custody and associated services to the $50bn Swedish pension fund and has been re-appointed following a public procurement process that started in March 2019. It said it was “committed” to being the custody partner of choice for large asset owners and asset managers, providing solutions that protect investor portfolios while optimising efficiency with a focus on excellent client service regardless of asset class or market. AP7 chief operating officer, Tina Nylund, commented: “We are happy to have again reappointed BNY Mellon as our global custodian. AP7 is facing significant growth and change. BNY Mellon met all our requirements and will be able to further support our successful transition to a new operating model.”

- Mercer has been awarded an A+ and six A ratings of its $306bn of assets under management by the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

It was awarded the A+ for investment strategy and governance, and its A ratings for all six asset classes were awarded in its first year of accreditation. Mercer said it helps clients avoid the investment and reputational risks associated with poor environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices, while seeking opportunities that emerge from new trends and regulatory changes that are taking place around the world. “Earning this high rating from a globally recognised third party validates Mercer’s years of research and commitment to promoting best practices around responsible investment as an adviser to more than $15tn of assets around the world,” said Mercer global chief investment officer, Hooman Kaveh.

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