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FAST PODCAST: Will country-level ESG become more important after Ukraine?

ESG investors can have a lot of influence over businesses, but countries are harder. Will this change in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? We asked Pendal ESG credit analyst Murray Ackman

An excerpt from this podcast:

ESG investing has two main objective, says Pendal ESG credit analyst Murray Ackman.

“One is about avoiding a financial loss or achieving an upside, and two is about bringing about change.

“Avoiding your financial loss or achieving an upside becomes pretty relevant when we’re looking at unsustainable areas or sectors that might be regulated out of existence.

“The quintessential stranded asset is coal plants, which will have limited use when renewables make up a much larger part of the electricity grid.

“It could also be areas where regulations, sanctions or potential changes in the future will impact the viability of various assets.

“This doesn’t necessarily mean that these types of assets are going to go to zero. It just means it could be unpopular, shrinking or there’s low liquidity in the area.

“The non-financial components can be simply that you don’t like what the industry or a particular company is doing.

“We’ve seen controversies becoming much more prominent as a reason why investors are looking to get out of a particular investment.

 “You can have a lot of influence over businesses, but countries are a lot bigger and a lot harder to influence, though there have been examples such as South Africa.

“The Russian example is perhaps a little idiosyncratic because there’s widespread sanctions and the speed and scale of condemnation in the west is very unique.

“Very few businesses have applied the same standards to other countries that have invaded sovereign nations although we can see the English Premier League is starting to question this in regard to Saudi Arabia and Yemen, so maybe this will change.

“We’ve seen that things happen and there is a resetting of the status quo view, so perhaps this is a watershed moment on the way in which we invest in countries.”

Pendal Sustainable Australian Fixed Interest Fund

A defensive bond fund with strong performance and positive environmental and social outcomes.


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About Murray Ackman and Pendal’s Income and Fixed Interest boutique

Credit ESG analyst Murray Ackman joined Pendal’s Income and Fixed Interest team in 2020 to provide fundamental credit analysis and integrate Environmental, Social and Governance factors across credit funds.

Murray has worked as a consultant measuring ESG for family offices and private equity firms and was a Research Fellow at the Institute for Economics and Peace where he led research on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Pendal’s Income and Fixed Interest boutique is one of the most experienced and well-regarded fixed income teams in Australia. In 2020 the team won the Australian Fixed Interest category in the Zenith awards.

Regnan Credit Impact Trust is a defensive investment strategy that puts capital to work for positive change.

Pendal Sustainable Australian Fixed Interest Fund is a defensive Australian bond fund that delivers market-leading performance with positive environmental and social outcomes.


This information has been prepared by Pendal Fund Services Limited (PFSL) ABN 13 161 249 332, AFSL No 431426 and is current as at May 19, 2022. PFSL is the responsible entity and issuer of units in the Pendal Monthly Income Plus Fund (ARSN: 137 707 996) and Pendal Dynamic Income Fund (ARSN: 622 750 734) (Funds). A product disclosure statement (PDS) is available for the Fund and can be obtained by calling 1300 346 821 or visiting www.pendalgroup.com. The Target Market Determination (TMD) for the Fund is available at www.pendalgroup.com/ddo. You should obtain and consider the PDS and the TMD before deciding whether to acquire, continue to hold or dispose of units in the Fund. An investment in the Fund or any of the funds referred to in this web page is subject to investment risk, including possible delays in repayment of withdrawal proceeds and loss of income and principal invested. This information is for general purposes only, should not be considered as a comprehensive statement on any matter and should not be relied upon as such. It has been prepared without taking into account any recipient’s personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, recipients should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness having regard to their individual objectives, financial situation and needs. This information is not to be regarded as a securities recommendation. The information may contain material provided by third parties, is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be accurate as at its issue date. While such material is published with necessary permission, and while all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information is complete and correct, to the maximum extent permitted by law neither PFSL nor any company in the Pendal group accepts any responsibility or liability for the accuracy or completeness of this information. Performance figures are calculated in accordance with the Financial Services Council (FSC) standards. Performance data (post-fee) assumes reinvestment of distributions and is calculated using exit prices, net of management costs. Performance data (pre-fee) is calculated by adding back management costs to the post-fee performance. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Any projections are predictive only and should not be relied upon when making an investment decision or recommendation. Whilst we have used every effort to ensure that the assumptions on which the projections are based are reasonable, the projections may be based on incorrect assumptions or may not take into account known or unknown risks and uncertainties. The actual results may differ materially from these projections. For more information, please call Customer Relations on 1300 346 821 8am to 6pm (Sydney time) or visit our website www.pendalgroup.com

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