AXA IM launches social bond fund

AXA Investment Managers has announced the launch of the AXA World Funds Act Social Bonds fund.

AXA says the fund aims to support the transition to a more sustainable economy with the social benefit focused on three key themes:

  • Empowerment to promote access to education as well as employment preservation and creation
  • Inclusion to promote access to basic needs such as clean water, energy, or housing
  • Health and safety to support broader access to healthcare services

It should primarily address the following United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals:

No poverty (SDG 1),
Good health and well-being (SDG 3),
Decent work and economic growth (SDG 8),
Sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11)

To align with these SDGs, the fund will invest at least 75% in social and sustainability bonds, and up to 25% in conventional bonds aligned with a positive social impact. The social and sustainability bond selection process will rely on AXA IM’s proprietary GSSB framework that aims to identify the most relevant social and sustainability bonds from issuers with a credible sustainable strategy and meaningful projects.

The Fund will be benchmarked to the ICE Social Bond benchmark index.

Commenting on the launch, Johann Plé, manager of the AXA WF ACT Social bonds fund said: “In the transition to a low carbon economy, we cannot ignore the social dimension. While most impact investment strategies currently focus on the environment and decarbonisation, we believe the tremendous growth observed in the social and sustainability bond market in recent years is an opportunity to build a dedicated Social Bond strategy and we are proud to launch our first bond fund invested in this space.”

The fund is classified as an Article 9 product according to the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).