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June 17, 2003
First Dutch Passively-Managed DJSI-based Index Fund Launched
    by William Baue

Theodoor Gilissen Bankiers has launched a passively-managed fund that tracks a Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the first such product in the Netherlands.


Last week, Theodoor Gilissen Bankiers N.V. launched the first passively-managed equity fund in the Netherlands based on a Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). The Sustainable World Index Fund, which is available to high net worth individuals and institutional investors, tracks the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index ex All. In addition to identifying companies deemed to be the best performers in terms of sustainability, this index excludes companies involved in alcohol, gambling, tobacco, armaments and firearms.

"While asset managers in the Netherlands already offer a variety of active sustainability funds, we realized that there was no similar Dutch offering for passive sustainability-driven investments," said Rik Wolters, director of Theodoor Gilissen. "With the Sustainable World Index Fund, we aim to fill this gap and to apply our index-tracking capabilities to this new and increasingly important investment style."

Aegon N.V., a Netherlands-based insurance and financial services company, offers the only other Dutch DJSI-based fund. However, Aegon manages its fund actively, allocating its assets and holdings in different proportions than the index it tracks, whereas Theodoor Gilissen manages its fund passively. Passively-managed portfolios are constituted with the same holdings and in the same proportions as the index that they track, a style that minimizes the expenses of fund-management.

"With Theodoor Gilissen we have signed up our second licensee in the Netherlands and have increased the total number of sold DJSI licenses to 42," said Alexander Barkawi, managing director of Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) Indexes. DJSI, which was established in 1999, is collaboratively run by SAM, Dow Jones Indexes, and STOXX Limited.

These 42 licensees manage 1.7 billion euros in funds, certificates, and segregated accounts in 14 countries on four continents. For example, Sagitta Wealth Management Limited offers a DJSI-based fund in Australia, Credit Union Central of Ontario offers a certificate in Canada, Nikko Asset Management a fund in Japan, and State Street Global Advisors a fund in Germany. Germany is home to the most the most DJSI licensees with nine, while Switzerland hosts seven.

 

 
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