ASI to shut impact fund

Was revealed to have invested in Boohoo last year


Harriet Habergham

Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) is to shut its UK impact fund, which was caught up in the Boohoo scandal last summer, ESG Clarity‘s sister title Portfolio Adviser has learned.

In a letter to investors seen by Portfolio Adviser, ASI said it would be liquidating the ASI UK Impact -Employment Opportunities Equity fund after it lost the backing of its largest investor.

See also: – Boohoo scandal ‘poses challenge’ to ESG ratings

According to Trustnet, the fund, run by Lesley Duncan (pictured), had £6.6m in assets at the end of March. It has returned 28.1% since launching three years ago in 2018, over double the IA UK All Companies average of 13.8%.

ASI UK Impact had exposure to Boohoo

While the fund has had a solid run in terms of performance, it took a hit to its reputation last summer after becoming embroiled in the fallout of Boohoo’s slavery scandal.

Portfolio Adviser identified UK Impact as one of a trio of ASI funds with exposure to the fast fashion house, days after an investigation in The Times revealed UK workers were paid as little as £3.50 an hour to make clothes in its Leicester factories.

ASI divested its holding not long after with Duncan condemning Boohoo’s response to the allegations as “inadequate in scope, timeliness and gravity”.

Commenting on the closure an ASI spokesperson said: “We continually review our fund range and underlying share classes to ensure that our offering meets the requirements of clients and customers as well as our strategic priorities.”

The fund will close officially on 6 July 2021.

This article first appeared on ESG Clarity‘s sister site Portfolio Adviser

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