Chant West has incorporated responsible investment (RI) classifications into its ratings for super fund investment options, providing investors with detailed RI insights that allow them to make more informed investment decisions.

The RI classifications mirror those of Zenith Investment Partners and comprise traditional, aware, integrated, thematic and impact categories, with each one designating the extent of the fund’s incorporation of responsible investment factors.

Zenith Investment Partners head of responsible investments, Dugald Higgins, says: “While it’s vital for managers and super funds to be able to measure and demonstrate the role of RI in their investment strategies, it’s equally important that investors can accurately identify which strategies meet with their needs and align with their investment beliefs.

“The fund classification framework across super investment options helps investors understand the integration of a super fund’s RI themes into their processes and the associated impacts on the final portfolio outcome.

“The classification framework is underpinned by a set of principles which is applied by our analysts and overseen by an internal responsible investment committee. We also use our role working right across the industry with a wide range of stakeholders to inform this framework and ensure it remains robust and relevant,” Mr Higgins says.

These classifications will be rolled out across investment options progressively and have already been attached to 70 per cent of investment options in the Chant West super fund universe.

The Chant West RI classifications launch follows the recent addition of its detailed super fund research reports being made available to Zenith clients via Mosaic, the group’s flagship research and portfolio insights platform.

Chant West senior investment research manager, Mano Mohankumar says: “Zenith Mosaic now incorporates detailed qualitative research and ratings assessment reports on some of the industry’s major super funds including AustralianSuper, Australian Retirement Trust (QSuper and Sunsuper) and BT, with plans for more funds to be added to the suite of reports over time.

“The super fund investment ratings include an overall rating for the product issuer and separate ratings for each of its investment options.

“The overall investment capability rating refers to the issuer’s ability to construct investment options that represent industry best practice, and have a high likelihood of achieving their stated risk/return objectives and delivering strong peer-relative outcomes.

“An overall investment capability rating is awarded – and this ranges from 5 Apples, our highest rating, to 1 Apple, our lowest rating.

“This report also assigns ratings for individual investment options available to super fund members, which may differ from the overall investment capability rating, as they assess the specific characteristics of each portfolio,” Mr Mohankumar says.