Spanish asset manager Mapfre is launching Mapfre Inclusión Responsable – a fund which invests in European companies which actively seek to include disabled people within their workforces.
The fund – which the group claims is the first of its kind – is being launched in France and marketed throughout the rest of Europe by the end of this year.
The fund will combine the search for financial profitability with social impact by investing primarily in companies which are leaders in employing people with disabilities, the group said.
The methodology to do so, which is based on a questionnaire of 40 questions, has been developed by Mapfre and its French ESG focused associate, fund manager La Financiere Responsable (LFR).
It has so far identified around 150 companies – some 25% of the total – as being either leaders in this field or committed to becoming so.
Benefits of inclusion
Mapfre Inclusión Responsible aims to demonstrate empirically that the inclusion of people with disabilities in companies can be profitable.
Back testing by Mapfre’s asset management team shows that over the past five years the portfolio of companies selected for inclusion would be four times more profitable than the market as a whole, so providing a compelling investment thesis, the group said.
Mapfre president Antonio Huertas said: “Our research has identified that companies committed to disability, have proved to be profitable, financially stable and therefore more sustainable than their competitors. We have therefore concluded that investing in such companies is not only positive for investors but is positive for society as a whole.”
Madrid-based Mapfre AM specialises in themed impact funds and is the asset management arm of one of Spain’s largest insurers, Mapfre.
* This article first appeared on ESG Clarity‘s sister site Expert Investor.