ESG fund trounces peers helped by bold bet on defense stocks

An ESG fund run by Alken Asset Management has outperformed 98% of its peers over the past year, helped by a bet on European defense stocks while they were still cheap.

Photo: China Daily Cdic/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The Alken Fund Sustainable Europe (ALCSEU1 LX) is up about 9% in the period, compared with an average drop of roughly 9% among similar funds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Aside from defense, which represents about 8% of the portfolio, the fund’s gains were driven by its exposure to energy and raw materials.

London-based Alken, which oversees about EUR 1.5bn, in total, is the latest example of an investment manager offering outsized ESG returns by betting on industries that aren’t generally associated with environmental, social or governance goals.

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