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March AM strengthens cooperation with Oceana Foundation and Save the Med for the conservation of marine ecosystems through Mediterranean Fund

22 July 2021 Category: General

  • March AM works with non-profit organisations Oceana and Save The Med on various lines of action, including beach clean-ups and scientific research.
  • Mediterranean Fund is a thematic, socially-responsible fund and its investment philosophy ties in with the UN Sustainable Development Goals: oceans as a source of wealth and the need to preserve them, and water as a scarce, indispensable resource.
  • In the first half of 2021, Mediterranean Fund's assets under management totalled €109 million thanks to strong investor interest and the fund's outstanding performance, returning 16.84% over the period.

March Asset Management (AM), Banca March's asset management business, has strengthened its partnership with Oceana and Save The Med, through which it undertakes a range of initiatives aimed at protecting marine ecosystems. Under the current agreement, 10% of the management fees generated by Mediterranean Fund is allocated to various lines of action, including reducing ocean pollution levels and scientific research.

Key projects under the partnerships include the pilot initiative by Oceana to document plastic levels in tourist areas in low season (Mallorca and Valencia) using a submarine drone and an exploration catamaran with collaborating divers. The project will conclude with the publication of a report on the most common, most dangerous types of plastic waste in these coastal areas. Oceana is also running an initiative to raise awareness of the risks involved in the widespread use of certain types of packaging, as well as a programme to seek to increase plastic-free areas. Through these initiatives, it advises companies to replace single-use plastics with more sustainable alternatives.

For the second year running, the financial support of March AM has also helped consolidate and enhance the marine preservation projects rolled out by the Save the Med Foundation. These projects have contributed to better knowledge of various species, including the giant devil ray (Mobula mobular), loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) and of their habitats, which has given added impetus to the Foundation's scientific expeditions. The resources contributed by Banca March have also supported the creation of the programme Balears Sense Plàstic, which strives to eliminate single-use plastics, one of the largest sources of pollution in the Mediterranean Sea.

All of these projects underscore March AM's commitment to integrating sustainability principles into its activity as an asset manager. Mediterranean Fund was one of the firm's pioneering sustainability initiatives. The fund's investment philosophy seeks to harness two high-potential trends related to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals for 2030: the oceans as a source of wealth and the need for their conservation, and water as a scarce resource which is indispensable for life on our planet. The fund offers a potential investment universe of over 750 companies and has attracted strong subscriptions since its launch, affording a significant advantage for investors.

In the first half of 2021, Mediterranean Fund's assets under management climbed to €109 million, thanks to a highly effective strategy affording excellent returns of over 16.84%. These strong figures reflect the ability of the March AM team and specifically of Mediterranean Fund manager Iñigo Colomo to generate compelling returns for investors.

Javier Escribano, Managing Director at March AM, said: "Mediterranean Fund remains immensely popular with investors and we are convinced that the product's solidarity bias, coupled with the outstanding performance achieved, are key to its continued success. In line with our commitment to supporting the transition towards Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), we are very proud to announce the initiatives we are working on with Oceana and Save The Med for the recovery, improvement and protection of the world's oceans.”

March AM: fully committed to sustainability

The asset manager has prepared an ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) policy which affords a broad framework for the performance of its corporate activities in complete alignment with these values. March AM is utterly committed to this process, and has therefore integrated ESG criteria into investment research, decision-making processes and a range of other initiatives.

As part of its strategy to implement SRI criteria, March AM has also applied Article 6 of the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) to all of its funds and pension plans since March. The fund manager is currently working towards having all its funds labelled SFDR Article 8 and Article 9. To that end, March AM has sought support from leading providers in the sector such as Sustainalytics, Clarity, ISS and Inversis, working closely with these companies to develop an in-house tool which will meet all its needs.

Oceana and Save The Med: leaders in ocean conservation

Oceana is the largest global NGO focused solely on ocean conservation and protection. The organisation strives to recover the wealth of marine biodiversity all over the world by implementing policies based on scientific data. Founded in 2001, its efforts have succeeded in preserving 12 million square kilometres of ocean worldwide and it has rolled out campaigns for the conservation of the Mediterranean.

Save the Med is an organisation based in the Balearic Islands working for Mediterranean marine regeneration. Through its team and an extensive network of volunteers, it develops and implements marine conservation projects, community initiatives and educational programmes to reduce sea pollution and create a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) around the islands, with a view to enabling the Mediterranean Sea to recover its rich biodiversity and to thrive in harmony.

The goals sought by Oceana and Save The Med are highly complementary, and will help the Mediterranean Fund achieve its own solidarity targets. Oceana is a global institution that protects the world's oceans, while Save The Med takes a more local approach, focusing on the seas surrounding Spain.

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