Social investing has entered the mainstream in the UK, with the launch of the Threadneedle UK Social Bond Fund.
The Threadneedle UK Social Bond Fund was launched in January 2014 as the first daily liquid fund to offer ordinary people, as well as institutional investors, an opportunity to invest for both a social and financial return. For the first time in the UK, Big Issue Invest and Threadneedle have brought the mainstream into social investment.
The Fund offers both a competitive financial return and positive social impact by investing in listed bonds issued by organisations that support socially beneficial activities and balanced economic development, primarily in the UK. The Fund invests in eight social outcome areas: affordable housing, education, employment and training, health and social care, financial inclusion; community services; transport and communication infrastructure; utilities and the environment.
Big Issue Invest conceived the fund proposition and designed the Social Assessment Methodology which provides screening criteria for investment decisions that maximise the social performance of the Fund – channelling as much investment as possible to people and places with the greatest social need. BII acts as the Fund’s Social Advisor and reviews and challenges individual bond social assessments and the overall social performance of the Fund through the Fund’s Social Advisory Committee. The first Interim Social Performance report is available here. BII has three objectives in developing this Fund:
The Fund is now available to retail and institutional investors in the UK. Retail investors can access the fund via their IFA or one of a number of mainstream online investment platforms including Hargreaves Lansdown Vantage, Alliance Trust and Cofunds.