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Almost a year after taking over the management of BL Sustainable Horizon, Annick Drui looks back at the main developments in the Fund over the past few months.

At the beginning of 2022

In January, we saw some organisational changes in the investment team of the fund [1]. As part of this renewal, we reviewed the Fund’s key strengths stemming from the well-established investment process and announced our strategic priorities for the Fund going forward.

On the basis of BLI’s long-standing Business-Like Investing model, we invest in high quality companies with tangible competitive advantages that ultimately translate into higher margins and profitability. In the same spirit of this quality and long-term philosophy, the Fund invests in companies with extra-financial profiles that respond to structural sustainability trends. For example, these trends relate to investments in the efficient use of resources through Industrial and Technological companies, or the improvement of life expectancy and quality of life through Healthcare stocks. In a nutshell, the Fund pursues Business-Like Investing, that we evolved to encompass the trinity: impact, quality, valuation-investing in quality companies with a clear sustainability objective at a reasonable price.

The approach (i.e. our dual approach) of mixing quality and growth companies within the same portfolio and diversifying across sustainability themes continued to intellectually make sense to us in order to build a fund that would focus on sustainable investments all the while preserving a balanced risk-reward approach important for preserving our client’s wealth. We set out to realise the transition beyond 2022 with a view of continuity. Think of it more as a marathon rather than a sprint.

New developments during 2022

A month into the year, it became evident that 2022 would once more be a rollercoaster of a year– whether we speak of the war in Ukraine, the subsequent energy crises, inflation and natural disasters or the introduction of new sustainability regulations affecting the industry.

The aim was to continue on the journey of managing the Fund with a clear impact narrative while preserving a balanced risk profile. That is the heart of our dual approach which in all honesty has proven to be most relevant in a year like this one. The Fund performed well in relative terms, may it be compared to its traditional benchmark, the MSCI ACWI, or its sustainability peers. We benefitted from its suitable diversification and not being monothematic such as focussed on climate change. On the other hand, we were penalised by not being exposed to the traditional Energy sector. The latter is currently benefiting from short-term considerations in our view as the sector will face risks in the long term in addition to not being in line with our Business-Like Investing investment principles. Overall, in terms of performance we are satisfied and confirmed in our beliefs of the merits of a balanced approach – combining and diversifying across sustainability themes, sectors, geographies and market caps.

The choice not to have a thematic fund was made consciously and deliberately in order to take advantage of the diversification benefits on the risk-return profile of the Fund and also to benefit from the multiple links that exist between different sustainable development objectives.


The key to implementation of the 2030 Agenda thus lies in leveraging interactions among the Sustainable Development Goals. UN General Assembly

On the regulatory front, the Fund has in 2021 been approved as Art.9 under SFDR [2]. This means that the Fund has sustainability as objective and will be invested in 100% sustainable assets [3]. Specifically, this means for the Fund that the thematic pocket has and will continue to gain in importance. While historically, this has been the satellite part of the strategy, it will now become ever more central. Thus, it has gained in importance already continuing on last year’s trend and represents 33% today [4].

All new investments over the year have integrated this high conviction pocket, ranging from heat pump producers to cardiac valve manufacturers. These investments show a very clear link to the Sustainable development goals (SDGs). The story here is apparent: Invest in companies that do well by doing good and which align with the preferences and values of our investors.

We analyse a company's potential to contribute in a positive and measurable way to the achievement of the United Nations' SDGs. This impact must be achieved through a company's products and services, i.e., it must be possible to assimilate the core of the business to one of the objectives, whether it be responsible waste or water management, the production of medicines, therapies and vaccines, or the development of efficient and safe infrastructure. The idea in the end is to have a coherent portfolio of pure players.

The companies added year-to-date are clear examples of such pure players:



Have we achieved what we set out to accomplish and where will we go from here?

The Fund maintained an adequate performance and despite an increase in thematic investments, that are generally considered as more volatile, its risk profile did not drastically increase all new investments in the conviction pocket showcase evident links to the SDGs and fulfil our definition of ESG pure-players. The two pockets, quant and thematic, are becoming more balanced standing at 58% and 33% respectively at the end of October (vs 70% and 21% a year ago).

Going forward investors can expect more of the same - we will continue on this trajectory of increasing thematic investments and our impact journey anchored around the trinity: impact, quality, valuation - investing in quality companies that are pure players with a clear sustainable objective at a reasonable price. That will also mean that we will slowly phase out investments that do not have poignant links to the realisation of the SDG. We will also focus on SFDR requirements and integrating them meaningfully across our investment strategies. Within the coming months we shall finalise and internalise the methodologies we have developed in light of the regulations and present the outcomes of our working groups. All in all, they will constitute a natural evolution of our proven investment principles, that are now augmented by ESG considerations without impeding the strong basis we built years ago. It is crucial to us to build on and evolve within our sphere of competence of active, long-term and conviction-based investing, and to build upon it rather than seek change.


[1] Changes to the management teams of certain equity funds

[2] Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 on sustainability‐related disclosures in the financial services sector.

[3] Definition based on an internal model that applies to all investments excluding cash (thematic and quantitative pockets combined), 100% at 31/12/2022.

[4] 31/12/2020: 15.9%; 31/12/2021: 20.8%; 31/10/2022: 33.2%


For more details, please refer to the following documents:


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  • Where applicable, any scenarios relating to future performance in this document are an estimate of such future performance based on evidence from the past on how the value of this Financial Product varies and/or current market conditions. They are not an exact indicator and what you will get will vary depending on how the market performs and how long you keep the Financial Product.
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Annick Drui, Fund Manager,

Final date of writing: 12 December 2022

Date of publication: 13 December 2022 at 11:40.

The author of this document is employed́ by BLI - Banque de Luxembourg Investments, a management company licensed by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier Luxembourg (CSSF).

Annick Drui, Financial Analyst/Fund Manager BL Sustainable Horizon

Annick joined the SRI team of BLI - Banque de Luxembourg Investments in March 2020. She holds an MSc in Finance from HEC Lausanne with a specialisation in asset and risk management. In June 2020, Annick obtained the ESG Analyst certification, CESGA issued by EFFAS.

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