abrdn today announces the launch of a new investment strategy that is designed to address some of the key concerns of investors who want a greater focus on responsible and sustainable issues, including climate change, without sacrificing returns.

The Responsible Global Asset Strategies (RGAS) Fund predominantly invests in companies and issuers, including sovereigns, that promote Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) characteristics. It comprises 20 to 30 investment strategies that span geographies and asset classes.

RGAS targets a return in excess of 5% over cash1 and a volatility of 4-8% p.a. over three-year periods. As an EU SFDR article 8 fund2, RGAS aims to achieve this while avoiding those companies and countries it views as having high or poorly managed ESG risks.

The managers of the Fund are Katy Forbes, Gerry Fowler and Catie Wearmouth of the Multi-Asset Solutions team. They implement abrdn’s established Absolute Return approach whilst using a combination of ESG integration, screening and enhancement criteria, together with responsible stewardship, to achieve the Fund’s sustainable and financial objectives.

ESG integration incorporates an assessment of ESG factors into the investment analysis and decision making across all holdings of the Fund. Exclusions mean that the team avoids investing in activities that present particular risks such as controversial weapons or companies engaged in coal extraction or power generation using coal. The team aims to enhance the ESG characteristics of the companies and corporate bonds it invests in by avoiding the lowest rated companies in the riskiest sectors. They also avoid the lowest-rated sovereigns.

To assess ESG risk, the team uses abrdn’s proprietary ESG House Score developed by its central ESG investment team to assess companies in terms of their responsibility and environmental sustainability. The team ranks countries according to ESG and political factors and excludes those with the highest risk.

Katy Forbes, Head of Absolute Return, abrdn said:

“We think that it is possible to invest responsibly without sacrificing returns. We aim to identify opportunities which offer attractive returns and that we believe are responsible.”

Justin Simler, Global Head of Multi-Asset Strategy and Specialists, abrdn said:

“We believe that investors increasingly care much more about how their money is invested and want to understand and manage the risks more effectively. This new strategy broadens our responsible/sustainable range and complements our newly launched Multi Asset Climate funds.”

For its core global equity allocation, the Fund targets a 50% reduction in weighted average carbon intensity3 compared to passive global equities.


2 Article 8 funds are defined as those funds that promote, among other characteristics, environmental or social characteristics, or a combination of those characteristics, provided that the companies in which the investments are made follow good governance practices.

3 Calculated by Trucost, this measures the greenhouse gas emitted by a company directly from its operations, from energy consumed and from major suppliers. It is measured in tonnes of C02 per million dollars of revenue.



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Notes to editors

About the Fund:

  • Aberdeen Standard SICAV II – Responsible Global Asset Strategies
  • The Fund’s Asset Management Charge (AMC) amounts to 0.7% per annum for institutional investors and 1.35% per annum for retail investors.
  • Fund managers:
    • Katy Forbes, Head of Absolute Return
    • Gerry Fowler, Investment Director
    • Catie Wearmouth, ESG Investment Director

About abrdn:

At abrdn, we enable our clients to plan, save and invest for their futures.

We structure our business into three areas – and together they reflect our focus on enabling our clients to be better investors:

  • Investments: We work with clients to create solutions across asset classes, regions and markets globally – combining multi-layered research and market insights with technology and diverse thinking.
  • Adviser: We offer market-leading platform technology and tools that enable UK wealth managers and financial advisers to create more opportunity for their business and their clients.
  • Personal: We help people throughout the UK plan for their financial futures – through our financial planning business and our digital investing services.

Across our investments, adviser and personal businesses we manage and administer £532 billion of assets for our clients, and abrdn plc has over 1 million shareholders. (Figures as at 30 June 2021)

Our investments are built on an insight strength that comes from multi-layered research and a large global footprint. Our teams collaborate across multiple capabilities, to create forward-thinking solutions that aim to meet our clients’ needs and deliver more sustainable outcomes. Our investments business manages £465.3 billion on behalf of individuals, governments, pension funds, insurers, companies, charities and foundations (as at 30 June 2021) – with support and expertise from 800 investment specialists in over 30 locations.

abrdn is the single global brand for all areas of our business. In July 2021 our plc listing became abrdn plc. In September our investments business, formerly Aberdeen Standard Investments, became abrdn.


Important Information

For Professional Investors only

The value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up and you may get back less than the amount invested. Past performance is not a guide to future results. Tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each investor and may be subject to change in the future. We recommend that you seek financial advice prior to making an investment decision.

The details contained here are for information purposes only and should not be considered as an offer, investment recommendation, or solicitation to deal in any investments or funds and does not constitute investment research, investment recommendation or investment advice in any jurisdiction. Any research or analysis used to derive, or in relation to, the above information has been procured by us for our own use, without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any specific investor, and may have been acted on for own purpose. No warranty is given as to the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of the information contained in this communication and no liability for errors or omissions in such information. Readers must make assessments to the relevance, accuracy and adequacies of the information contained in this communication and make independent investigations, as they may consider necessary or appropriate for the purpose of such assessments. Any opinion or estimate contained in this communication, are made on a general basis. No information contained herein constitutes investment, tax, legal or any other advice, or an invitation to apply for securities in any jurisdiction where such an offer or invitation is unlawful, or in which the person making such an offer is not qualified to do so.

Issued in the United Kingdom (UK) by Aberdeen Asset Managers Limited, registered in Scotland (SC108419) at 10 Queen’s Terrace, Aberdeen, AB10 1XL, and Standard Life Investments Limited registered in Scotland (SC123321) at 1 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2LL. Both companies are authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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