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The Martin Currie Australia Sustainable Income strategy invests in a diversified benchmark-unaware portfolio of high-quality companies that we have screened for client-driven ethical values, and which have been assessed using a proprietary approach for understanding sustainability and financial attributes.

The Martin Currie Australia Sustainable Income strategy invests in companies that have first passed our client-driven ethical screens and have then been assessed using Martin Currie Australia’s proprietary Active Ownership approach and ratings framework to have more favourable Sustainability assessments for “Sustainability Risk”, “Net Benefits” & “Sustainability Pathway”, and “Shadow Carbon Cost”. This approach is premised on our philosophy that companies with these characteristics should prove to be more successful financially over time.

Furthermore, we have found that stocks that ‘pass the grade’ for traditional equity accumulation or Sustainability-focussed funds may not always be suitable for income portfolios. We focus on the high-quality companies that have solid earnings can sustain dividends, match rises in the cost of living and are likely to be less volatile than the wider equity market. These are attributes are key to providing what we like to call a ‘sufficient income for life’.

The development of the Sustainable Income strategy was a natural extension of Martin Currie Australia’s investment philosophy. Sustainability inputs and assessments have been embedded directly into our investment process since 2009, the year we became signatories to the PRI. We also have over 10 years of experience in managing income-focussed strategies for retirees, charities, foundations and not-for-profit organisations.

Portfolio construction for the Martin Currie Australia Sustainable Income strategy combines:

  • our unique Valuation, Quality, Direction and Sustainable Dividend multi-lensed proprietary research,
  • a tilt towards companies that have more favourable proprietary Sustainability assessments;
  • proprietary Shadow Carbon Cost assessments;
  • negative screens based on client-specific ethical values; and,
  • bottom-up methodologies to maximise a Sufficient Income for Life.

This has resulted in a benchmark-unaware Australian equity portfolio that is constructed in a very different way to traditional equities, Sustainability-focused strategies and other income-focused approaches. We have also specifically designed the strategy to aim to extract the full benefit of franking credits and maximise after tax income for 0% tax payers.

We believe that there are few peer strategies available in the market that address both income and the assessment of sustainability attributes in the way that the Martin Currie Australia Sustainable Income strategy can.

Key Information

To provide an after-tax yield above the S&P/ASX 200 Index yield and to provide income stream growth above inflation

Portfolio characteristics Australia Sustainable Income
Objective Income
Asset Class Equities
Style Income/Quality
Investable Universe Australian listed securities
Benchmark Benchmark unaware
Market capitalisation All cap
Country limit N/A
Sector limit Absolute 25%
Security limit Absolute 6%
Number of stocks Typically 40
Portfolio turnover Typically 25% p.a.
Forecast tracking error We do not target tracking error but total risk outcome is typically 90% of the market.
Inception  8 December 2015

  • "Investors don’t want to have to choose between income, their values and Sustainability – and we believe they shouldn’t have to. "

Why Invest in Australia Sustainable Income


Not all equities are created equal for income

We have put both the ‘sufficient income for life’ needs and ESG & ethical values of clients at the heart of the product design for the Martin Currie Australia Sustainable Income strategy


Focus on a growing income stream

Our benchmark unaware portfolio construction helps to avoids income shocks, hedge against rising inflation, and improve capital growth without the use of costly derivatives


More appropriate risk profile for income investors

Maximising income and reducing the concentration in Australian equities is much more important than benchmark relative alpha and tracking-error risk measures

Investment Team

The Sustainable Income strategy is co-managed by Reece Birtles and Will Baylis.

The strategy benefits from the close collaboration and deep industry expertise of wider Martin Currie Australia investment team and the broader Martin Currie global investment floor.

Reece Birtles

Reece Birtles, CFA

Job title
Chief Investment Officer, Australia
Will Baylis

Will Baylis

Job title
Portfolio Manager


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