NN Investment Partners scooped the award for green bond fund of the year for its €1.4 billion ($1.7 billion) NN (L) Green Bond fund, after impressing judges with its extensive market engagement.
One Environmental Finance Bond Awards judge said the fund – managed by Bram Bos and Alfred Meinema – had done "more than anyone else to champion green bond funds" since it was launched in 2016 by "accumulating and then communicating all the positive features" of green bond funds. The judges also commended the transparency of its impact reporting.
Bos told Environmental Finance that NN IP was one of the "early movers" in the green bond fund market, and has been playing an active role in supporting the development of the green bond market more broadly.
"Our aim has not only been to grow the fund, but also to draw focus to the green bond market and help issuers set up credible green bond frameworks," he said. "We have worked with a broad range of issuers and our approach has always been very clear and consistent over the past five years."
Since inception, the fund has generated an annualised return of 3.7% and for the last five years has outperformed both its peers and green bond indexes.
The NN IP green bond team – which also manages a short duration and corporate green bond fund – said encouraging sovereign and industrial issuers as well as working with issuers to understand the challenges facing them from the EU Taxonomy for sustainable activities were its main engagement priorities in 2021.