Podcast: Threadneedle Social Bond

Certain bonds can provide finely targeted positive impact investments. Hear from the manager of this fund to understand how.

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  1. Rob Morgan

Threadneedle Social Bond Fund, a partnership between Columbia Threadneedle and Big Issue Invest, targets a positive social impact in its investments. It seeks to support activities in areas such as affordable housing, education, social care, financial inclusion, community services, transport and the environment.

Like any bond fund, it invests in the debt of companies and institutions rather than in shares. Bonds are generally lower risk than shares but unlike cash, capital is not secure. Investors should expect a modest return, primarily in the form of income, so this fund could help socially-responsible investors build a more diversified portfolio and offset the volatility of stock markets.

Many ‘ethical’ bond funds available primarily operate through more traditional ‘exclusions’, screening out various sectors and individual companies using negative criteria. However, with this fund, there is a focus on positive solutions to social issues.

The fund’s manager, Simon Bond, is a passionate advocate of social investing. He explains that by their nature bonds can offer the opportunity for finely targeted social investment. That’s because various organisations besides companies can issue bonds, including charities, housing associations, mutual associations and government agencies, and these can be for specific projects as well as general borrowing. For example, social housing bonds can help tackle poverty and inequality, and bonds issued by universities can help broaden educational opportunities.

You can get to know Simon Bond and the fund better in this podcast from Threadneedle’s website, where he takes a closer look at the world of social impact investment and discusses how bonds and ratings agencies work.

Relevant topics covered in the podcast include:

01:13 – 10:20 Personal bio

11:50 – 13:15 Fund philosophy and strategy

16:05 – 24:55 The social and environmental bond market, finding opportunities and how the area has evolved.

24:56 – 29:07 Measuring social outcomes, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and views on risk to companies

The views expressed in this podcast are of the named participants only and not of Charles Stanley.

Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. This website is not personal advice based on your circumstances. No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal. Investment decisions in fund and other collective investments should only be made after reading the Key Investor Information Document or Key Information Document, Supplementary Information Document and Prospectus. If you are unsure of the suitability of your investment please seek professional advice.

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