Research house RSMR has rebranded its Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) range amid an overhaul of its fund ratings process, which sees the group evaluate funds from an ESG perspective across four new criteria.
The firm's SRI Managed Portfolios, which charge an AMC of 0.15% plus VAT, will be renamed Responsible Cautious, Responsible Balanced and Responsible Dynamic, as a result of the change, as the firm aims to "stay at the forefront" of responsible investment.
RSMR's SRI rating system, which was launched in 2012, has now also been expanded to "meet the increasing demand from advisers for solutions across differing risk categories", with the firm taking inspiration from the Investment Association's (IA) Responsible Investment framework.
The IA framework has set out guidance, providing structure for advisers and asset managers, and RSMR has been "tracking and mirroring the changes that are taking place within the industry", it said.
It has therefore been adapting its research and "aligning ourselves with the evolution of the industry" in efforts to "assist advisers in achieving more mindful client conversations", RSMR explained.
Specifically, the RSMR Responsible rated funds will now apply multiple criteria into their process and fall into four distinct categories; Sustainable, Impact, Thematic, and Ethical.
Sustainable funds select and include investments that responsibly contribute and benefit the global sustainable economy, such as by referencing the portfolio to one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, or the application of a screen.
Impact funds are "investments made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return".
Thematic funds use macro themes to identify long-term responsible structural growth trends, while Ethical funds apply a screen, either positive, negative or both, that "may be based on ethics or on a 'best in sector' approach".
Director at RSMR Ken Rayner said: "The interest in responsible investing has increased significantly in the last 18 months as both regulation and customer enquiries have generated a new demand for information.
"RSMR has been reviewing its approach and our re-launch takes place at an exciting time for the whole sector.
"We are keen to make sure we maintain our lead in providing high quality research and have built a new framework which will allow us to deliver a clearer understanding of the options available for advisers."