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Standard Life Investments UK Ethical

Elite Rated by FundCalibre

This fund encapsulates the best ideas from the experienced team at Standard Life Investments, which manager Lesley Duncan uses alongside a ‘no compromises’ ethical screening. Lesley will have between 50 and 100 holdings, and will look to keep them for three to five years, expecting them to grow in value, and also provide some income, though this isn’t the key focus.

Company Description

Standard Life Investments (SLI) was launched as an investment management company in 1998. It has offices around the world in locations such as London, Boston, Sydney and Hong Kong, and also maintains close relationships with domestic partners in Asia. SLI covers a range of asset classes including equities, fixed income and real estate.


Fund Manager

Lesley has been manager of this fund since 2004, having started at SLI in 1995. She is their internal specialist on the housing sector, and puts ethics at the heart of her investment strategy. After struggling in the 2007-08 downturn, Lesley tweaked the strategy of the fund, taking a slightly more concentrated approach.


Investors can invest without compromising on their values and beliefs- and without compromising on investment returns.

Lesley Duncan - Fund Manager

The Investment Process

The potential investment universe is determined by an ethical screen, which will eliminate whole sectors such as gambling and tobacco and alcohol production. The screen is determined by an ethical committee and a survey of investors. This will give acceptable and preferred stocks, which Lesley will discuss with the rest of the team, and pick her best stock ideas. If a holding becomes unethical, or falls out of favour, she will sell completely.


Due to the ethical screening, the fund has large benchmark differences. It does hold equities, based in the UK making the fund about as risky as the UK stock market, though being more concentrated than peers can increase volatility.

Our Opinion

This fund has the weight of Standard Life’s considerable research team behind it, plus a consistent and conscientious manager in Lesley Duncan which should combine to make a strong overall return to clients.

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