AGF Global Sustainable Equity ADR Strategy

Approach
Blend of thematic and bottom up approach
Cap
All-Cap
Benchmark
MSCI World Net Index
Inception Date
December 2018

Key Reasons to Invest

1

Invest in the thematic opportunities that are arising from the ongoing shift to a sustainable economy.

2

Differentiated positioning - a concentrated global portfolio with high active share.

3

Contribute to a more sustainable economy while minimizing environmental footprint.

Overview

Strategy

Our dedicated Sustainable Investment Team combines thematic analysis with a disciplined, fundamental bottom-up approach. Our objective is to outperform broad global equity markets by providing differentiated positioning focused on sustainable themes. We invest in companies developing solutions to key sustainability challenges, and by measuring both financial and non-financial performance.

Philosophy

We believe that a shift to a more sustainable economy is underway and is gaining velocity. Drivers include policy and regulation, changing corporate objectives, societal pressure, and technological advances. Our view is that investing in the thematic opportunities related to this shift forms a compelling and enduring strategy to contribute to a more sustainable economy and deliver opportunity for superior returns.

Process

Our investment process combines thematic analysis with fundamental stock selection. We map 1,000 companies to four proprietary sustainable themes (energy transition, circular economy & pollution abatement, water services & climate adaptation and food & health). We then identify accelerating sub-themes by examining societal trends, demand, cyclicality, growth, margin potential, regulatory drivers, pricing power, competition, and barriers to entry. We further examine sub-themes across GICS sectors to identify which segments of the Value Chain (materials, suppliers, producers) contain the most attractive investment opportunities.

Our fundamental analysis seeks to identify companies with revenues accelerating in line with our sub-themes. Our Stage Appropriate Analysis allows us to consider stocks across the maturity spectrum and assesses fundamentals such as revenue and earnings growth, margins, management, free cash flow, valuation, and sustainability of competitive position. ESG analysis examines risks and opportunities related to climate, diversity, and human capital, and our active ownership stance governs our proxy voting and corporate engagements.

Our objective is to outperform broad global equity markets by constructing a differentiated portfolio of 25 to 40 holdings from all capitalization ranges, each providing solutions to key sustainability challenges.

Investment Process

Universe
  • Map 1,000 companies providing sustainable solutions to four broad themes and 14 sub-themes.
  • 1. Thematic Analysis
    • Identify attractive sub-themes based on demand, regulatory drivers, and new products and technologies.
  • 2. Value Chain Assessment
    • Determine most attractive segment of value chain (material, suppliers, and producers.)
  • 3. Fundamental Analysis
    • Assess companies with ESG attributes, accelerating revenues, and clear catalysts in line with our sustainable themes.
Portfolio Construction
  • 25 – 40 names.

Investment Team

Martin Grosskopf
Martin Grosskopf, MES, MBA
VP & Portfolio Manager
AGF Investments America Inc.
Vishal Bané
Vishal Bané, MSc Green Economy, CA (India), CFA®
Co-Portfolio Manager
AGF Investments America Inc.
Analysts
Analysts
Investment Team
Martin Grosskopf, MES, MBA
VP & Portfolio Manager

Martin Grosskopf manages AGF’s sustainable investing strategies and provides input on sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues across the AGF investment teams. He is a thought leader and a frequent public speaker on ESG and Green Finance issues. He serves as Vice-Chair of the CSA Group technical committee on Green and Transition Finance and is a past member of the Responsible Investment Association (RIA)’s Board of Directors.

Martin has more than 30 years of experience in financial and environmental analysis. He previously served as Director, Sustainability Research and Portfolio Manager with Acuity Investment Management Inc., which was acquired by AGF Management Limited in 2011. Before joining the financial industry, Martin worked in a diverse range of industries in the areas of environmental management, assessment and mitigation. He was a project manager with CSA International from 1997 to 2000 and, prior to that, served as an environmental scientist with Acres International Limited.

Martin obtained a B.A. from the University of Toronto and an MES from York University, and earned an MBA from the Schulich School of Business.

Portfolio Manager under AGF Investments Inc. and AGF Investments America Inc.

Vishal Bané, MSc Green Economy, CA (India), CFA®
Co-Portfolio Manager

Vishal Bané serves as Co-Portfolio Manager, AGF Global Sustainable Equity Strategy, leveraging his extensive Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) analysis experience to evaluate the strategy’s ESG risks and opportunities.

Vishal joined AGF in 2017 as an Analyst. Prior to that, he worked in ESG Research at MSCI Inc. and gained additional industry experience at the National Stock Exchange of India.

Vishal is a Chartered Accountant (national merit-holder) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and holds a Master of Science in Finance from the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. He is also a CFA® charterholder.

Portfolio Manager under AGF Investments Inc. and AGF Investments America Inc.

CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.

Abhishek Ashok
M.A., MFE, CFA®
Analyst
AGF Investments Inc.
Consumer Staples
Richard Fisher
M.A. (Econ.)
Senior Analyst
AGF Investments Inc.
Banks, Transportation
Georgina Goldring
CFA®
Analyst
AGF Investments Inc.
Telecommunication Services, Utilities
Ling Han
M.Sc., MBA, CFA®
Analyst
AGF Investments Inc.
Chemicals, Health Care
Grace Huang
MBA, CFA®
Senior Analyst
AGF Investments Inc.
Information Technology, Communication Services
John Kratochwil
MBA, P.Eng.
Senior Analyst
AGF Investments Inc.
Materials (ex-Chemicals), Real Estate
Henry Kwok
MBA
Senior Analyst
AGF Investments Inc.
Consumer Discretionary
Lazar Naiker
Senior Analyst
AGF Investments Inc.
Industrials
Pulkit Sabharwal
MBA
Analyst
AGF Investments Inc.
Energy
Wai Tong
MBA, P.Eng., CFA®
Senior Analyst
AGF Investments Inc.
Industrials
Wyeth Wright
CFA®
Senior Analyst
AGF Investments Inc.
Software

Damola Adesoye
CFA®, MBA
Senior Analyst
AGF Investments Inc.
Manna Neghassi
Director, Sustainability Portfolio Specialist
AGF Investments Inc.

The AGF Equity Analyst Team consists of individuals from AGF Investments Inc. Personnel of AGF Investment Inc., an affiliated adviser located in Canada that is not registered with the SEC, provide research services to clients of AGF Investments America Inc through an Affiliate Resource Arrangements.

CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.