Franklin Templeton offers Catholic values stock fund

Caroline Baron

Mutual fund giant Franklin Templeton is launching a “Catholic principles” exchange traded fund (ETF) which aims to provide exposure to large and mid-cap stocks of global companies deemed to be socially and environmentally responsible.

The Franklin MSCI World Catholic Principles UCITS ETF is a global fund designed to track the performance of the MSCI World Select Catholic Principles ESG Universal and Low Carbon Index.

The index excludes companies “involved in controversial businesses, such as civilian firearms, nuclear weapons, and controversial and conventional weapons.”

Investment in businesses involved in gambling, tobacco, and thermal coal “is significantly restricted and based on revenue generated from these activities.”

The index also has three additional exclusions “which consist of abortion and contraceptives, animal testing and stem cells research to align with Catholic values.”

Caroline Baron, Head of ETF Distribution, EMEA, Franklin Templeton said:“Following the launch of the Franklin Catholic Principles Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt UCITS ETF two years ago and further to client interests, we are delighted to expand our offering of values-based products and introduce this new MSCI World Catholic Principles UCITS ETF to European investors.

“With this new fund we wanted to offer investors an ESG-focused global equity strategy within an ETF structure that incorporates specific Catholic values but also provides a core equity article 8 compliant solution.”

The Franklin MSCI World Catholic Principles UCITS ETF has been listed on the Deutsche Börse Xetra (XETRA), London Stock Exchange and Borsa Italiana.

The fund is registered in Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Rafaelle Lennox, Head of UCITS ETF Product Strategy, Franklin Templeton, said: “We are pleased to bring this tailor-made solution to investors.

“The MSCI World Select Catholic Principles ESG Universal and Low Carbon Index was created from a partnership between Franklin Templeton, MSCI and ethical advisor Nummus.

“Info to offer investors real customisation backed by the scale and resources of our firm. Investors can now participate in the performance of sustainable developed world equities that align with Catholic principles in one simple ETF.”

Franklin Templeton said the new ETF will be managed by Dina Ting, Head of Global Index Portfolio Management, and Lorenzo Crosato, ETF Portfolio Manager, Franklin Templeton, who have more than three decades of combined experience in the asset management industry and extensive track records in managing ETF strategies.