Maples: Number of Irish sustainability-focused funds up 40 per cent

Maples: Number of Irish sustainability-focused funds up 40 per cent

Peter Stapleton

The number of Irish sustainability-focused funds has grown by more than 40 per cent since the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) was introduced in 2021, according to new analysis by the Maples Group.

The inaugural edition of SFDR Impact Analysis contains a detailed assessment of the current state of ESG integration in Europe, with a particular focus on Irish funds.

The study demonstrates the significant impact of the SFDR on product design, asset allocation and fund distribution, while also providing valuable peer analysis on SFDR approaches taken to date.

It finds that nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of Irish-domiciled funds are sustainability-focused funds, i.e. categorised as either SFDR Article 8 or SFDR Article 9 funds, and Irish-domiciled sustainability-focused funds have grown by more than 40 per cent in the last two years.

The growth of the Article 8 funds in Ireland is consistent with the wider European position where approximately 44 per cent of all new fund launches in Q4 2022 were categorised as Article 8 funds.

Ian Conlon, funds and investment management partner and head of the Irish ESG advisory team, said: “We are delighted to share this first edition of our SFDR Impact Analysis and hope that our analysis will assist asset managers who are considering establishing or marketing sustainability-focused funds in Europe.

“While the 40 per cent growth in sustainability-focused funds is positive in Ireland, we anticipate that this figure will grow exponentially in the coming years with investors demanding a move towards more ethical and responsible investment.”

In Ireland, the Maples Group is the market-leading legal adviser to Irish-serviced funds having advised on 1,470 funds in 20221, a position it has maintained for 10 consecutive years.

Peter Stapleton, managing partner and global lead on ESG at the Maples Group, said: “I would like to commend our Irish team on this excellent inaugural edition. I trust it will be of significant value to our international clients and the many industry participants and advisers we collaborate with in the area of sustainable finance.

“Our work in Ireland is part of a wider global ESG initiative across all our offices and business lines. Our legal teams and colleagues in MaplesFS have worked on some of the largest and most innovative ESG deals to date and offer a comprehensive range of services for our clients. I look forward to continuing our work in this area and to future editions.”

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