Sustainability lies at the heart of our investment process
The Endeavour Fund has historically captured high levels of ‘natural’ sustainability derived from the resilient businesses the managers like to invest in and the durability of growth and investment returns they can identify. As Environmental, Social and Governance factors have become increasingly mainstream, Tellsons too have evolved more specific sustainability considerations within the investment process.
Companies that work hard at their environmental impact and social diversity are not merely trying to make a positive contribution to the world they operate in: they are also indicative of management cultures and governance practices that reflect the highest operational standards for the broadest interests of customers, suppliers, employees and communities, as well as shareholders.
Snacks and Sodas
Highly rated by analytics providers for ESG standards
Investing in cleaner fuels and next-generation renewable energy
Snacks and Sodas
Investing in the leading names changing their industry.
Investing in the alcohol industry but in moderation
We do not invest in the tobacco industry
We do not invest in defence and military hardware manufacturers
Embedded into the Endeavour investment process
One of the most naturally sustainable funds available
Environmental, Social, Governance
Environmental, social and governance issues rank increasingly prominently in the way we live and shape society and often distinguish our invested companies as leaders in their fields precisely because so many of them work so hard at these aspects of their brands and operational performance.
The Endeavour Fund does not negatively screen for ESG investments based on a sense of historical or subjective ethical judgement. Rather the starting point for the managers is that companies set their goals and responsibilities prioritising the interests of the widest stakeholder community and, with pragmatism, should set the standard in their sectors for how they go about it.
The Fund Managers of the EF Tellsons Endeavour Fund are regularly engaged with invested companies on their Environmental, Social and Governance challenges and use research support from third party industry providers such as Morningstar and Sustainalytics who have rated the Endeavour Fund highly ever since inception of their ratings services.
The managers of the EF Tellsons Endeavour Fund do invest in the energy sector but we avoid businesses retaining their legacy coal assets. The oil and gas sector is not considered as unethical or uninvestable per se. Far from it, it would in our opinion actually be unethical to withhold capital investment from an industry that is today the mainstay of affordable energy and the basis of 100 years of relief from poverty and improved living standards for billions of people around the world.
However, the energy companies we invest in should also rightly be expected to be progressively shifting their operations towards cleaner fuels and investing in the development of the next generation of sustainable, renewable energy sources and committing to the optimal and credible timelines to do it in the best interests of all stakeholders.
This includes the acknowledgement by the IPCC, the International Panel on Climate Change, that the global economy has an interest in utilising the cleanest fossil fuels for baseload power supply for at least a part of the next generation.
Snacks & Sodas
It is the view of the managers of the EF Tellsons Endeavour Fund that it is not all carbonated drink and snack food makers who contribute to the inexorable rise in obesity and diabetes rates globally.
Some businesses are leading the way with healthier ingredients, lower sugar content and replacement products and in educating their customers into new consumption habits.
We prefer to seek out and back the leaders in the Snacks & Sodas business too.
The managers do not invest in the tobacco industry.
While the products are legal to consumers, the managers believe the industry is generally of little utility to society and the companies themselves admit to their products shortening normal life expectancy.
The managers of the EF Tellsons Endeavour Fund happen to believe this to be not a very sustainable business model long-term and would go so far as to suggest tobacco products would quite possibly be made illegal if it wasn’t for the aggressive lobbying and tax revenues harvested from the industry by governments all over the world.
Gambling and alcohol may be considered unethical by some, on principally religious grounds, but in moderation the managers of the EF Tellsons Endeavour Fund believe they can be a welcome right to enjoy for mature self-determining adults.
They have throughout recorded history typically tended to play a traditional significant role in social cohesion though not without the risks of abuse and as such should always warrant careful regulation and ongoing education.
The managers do not invest in defence and military hardware manufacturers. Instead we see the manufacture and provision of armaments as better placed in departments of government. In and of themselves they may not be considered unethical investments as defence capability in our opinion has always played a vital part in the framework of international peace.
That said, some defence companies and some defence products supplied to some countries and regimes may well be considered unethical, in the managers’ opinion, and on ethical grounds alone may be precluded from mainstream public market investment.
Inclusion informs a broader perspective
Diversity of people and cultures, perspectives and talent is always a good thing for any business and is increasingly to be expected as a base requirement for businesses with their own increasingly diverse markets and customers.
However, setting pejorative quotas for diversity in company leadership may not, in the managers’ opinion, be entirely constructive for companies to answer to, facing as they already do tremendous challenges in the market for talent and recognising the obvious advantages diversity brings to breadth of thinking, innovation and understanding.
Almost needless to say, the managers of the Fund would abhor the thought of any of their investments being involved in modern slavery or pornography.
The managers go to reasonable lengths to ensure the required standards in investee companies, bearing in mind the Fund is relatively concentrated, overwhelmingly large market-capitalised, very well covered by market analysts, and forensically scrutinised by sustainability industry research providers whose analytics and ratings are woven directly into the Endeavour investment process.
A Philosophy of Stewardship
We are fortunate in western democratic countries to have the structures of government, institutions and accountability to trust that what is legal in our societies is broadly and increasingly – and ultimately – ethical.
We believe our investment and corporate engagement process makes a modest but relevant contribution to that evolution, a philosophy of stewardship perhaps more than a policy of purist exclusion.
Endeavour naturally appears to capture a lot of ESG characteristics: by country and by capitalisation, by dividend and by growth, by conviction and by success, the Endeavour Fund appears to have captured more ESG factors than over 90% of the Morningstar rated fund universe in the years since their rating service was launched in 2015 (source: Morningstar, Tellsons, Sustainalytics).
Probably one of the most naturally sustainable funds available in a much-greenwashed market today, it is rather ESG that seems to have found Endeavour.