- The Pax Global Environmental Markets Fund underperformed the MSCI ACWI in the first quarter of 2022.
- Global markets experienced heightened levels of volatility over the quarter as inflationary pressures continued to mount. Bond yields rose sharply on expectations of faster and larger interest rate increases and the war in Ukraine has led to an escalation in geo-political tensions. Equity markets were weak, particularly in Europe where disruptions were most acute, while supply side inflationary increases in oil, natural gas and other commodities have raised concerns globally about household spending and consumer sentiment.
- The MSCI ACWI finished lower over the quarter, and the only sectors to post positive returns were Energy, Materials and Utilities due to the benefit of rising oil and commodity prices. Consumer Discretionary, Communication Services and Information Technology were the worst performing sectors.
- Holdings set to benefit from commodity inflation and rising input costs were rewarded by the market over the quarter, as were defensively positioned companies with consistent revenue expectations.
- Top contributors at the security level during the period included Deere & Co, United Rentals and Applied Materials. Deere & Co (Technology & Logistics, US) reported results ahead of consensus expectations and increased guidance. The company benefitted from the market’s appetite for beneficiaries of rising soft commodity prices and improving farm income, which enabled farmers to upgrade their fleets of farm equipment. United Rentals (Resource Efficiency & Waste Management, US) share price performed well on the back of fourth quarter results and a share repurchase announcement. Applied Materials (Efficient IT, US) benefited from continuing strong demand for their equipment manufacturing of energy efficient chips.
- From a sector allocation perspective, an underweight to Consumer Discretionary and no exposure to Communication Services contributed positively to relative performance during the period.
- The portfolio’s overweight to quality growth-oriented companies across Industrial, Information Technology and Materials sectors presented headwinds to performance as companies with premium valuations lagged over the period. In addition, stock specific challenges impacted some holdings and added to headwinds.
- Top detractors at the security level during the period included GEA Group, Trane Technologies and Ecolab. Despite solid results, GEA (Technology & Logistics, Germany) sold off alongside German-listed Industrial peers on geopolitical concerns. Trane (Buildings Energy Efficiency, US) detracted on fears of rising input materials costs, its ability to pass price increases to customers and rising interest rates slowing construction demand. Ecolab (Water Treatment, US) pre-announced earnings results and their 2022 guidance was below consensus expectations due to ongoing cost and supply issues, which were exacerbated by elevated costs to expedite deliveries to customers, in the wake of Omicron variant related labor shortages.
- From a sector allocation perspective, not owning Energy and Financials also detracted from performance.
- The invasion of Ukraine by Russia, higher inflation data and supply chain disruptions have complicated the global macroeconomic outlook. Impax believes that rising inflationary pressures and the prospect of moderating economic growth in some geographies will lead investors to refocus attention on quality companies, benefitting from pockets of secular growth. Many holdings in the portfolio are currently showing even more attractive valuations justified by solid underlying earnings growth.
- Longer-term, the portfolio managers’ conviction in the drivers of the environmental markets remain intact. In recent months they have been bolstered by global policy measures, build-back-greener initiatives, planned industry and sector adaptation roadmaps, consumer behavior, fast-moving technological advances and the ever-growing financial cost of climate change. European dependence on Russian gas has likewise reawakened energy security concerns, which should only accelerate the Net Zero transition.
- Valuations in a number of thematic areas for environmental markets remain elevated particularly when framed against a macroeconomic backdrop of inflation, slowing growth and supply chain bottlenecks. The portfolio managers are therefore focused on constructing a diversified and balanced portfolio with exposure to a broad range of environmental sectors, end markets and business models.
Performance(as of 3/31/22)
|1-Month||Quarter||YTD||1 Year||3 Year||5 Year||10 Year||Since Inception1|
|Pax Global Environmental Markets Fund - Investor Class||0.99||-14.71||-14.71||-0.92||13.34||11.15||10.18||7.20|
|Pax Global Environmental Markets Fund - Class A||1.03||-14.66||-14.66||-0.87||13.36||11.15||10.18||7.21|
|Pax Global Environmental Markets Fund - Institutional Class||1.03||-14.65||-14.65||-0.68||13.62||11.42||10.46||7.47|
|MSCI ACWI (Net) Index||2.17||-5.36||-5.36||7.28||13.75||11.64||10.00||7.02|
Performance data quoted represent past performance, which does not guarantee future results. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. To obtain performance for the most recent month-end call 800.767.1729 or visit impaxam.com
Figures include reinvested dividends, capital gains distributions and changes in principal value.
Performance (as of 3/31/22)
|1-Month||Quarter||YTD||1 Year||3 Year||5 Year||10 Year||Since Inception1|
|Pax Global Environmental Markets Fund - Class A (Load)||-4.53||-19.34||-19.34||-6.34||11.26||9.90||9.56||6.78|
1The inception date for the Pax Global Environmental Markets Fund Institutional Class and the Investor Class is March 27, 2008. The Class A shares inception date is May 1, 2013.
ˆTotal annual Global Environmental Markets Fund operating expenses, gross of any fee waivers or reimbursements, for Institutional Class, Investor Class and Class A shares are 0.95%, 1.20%, and 1.20%, respectively, as of 5/1/2021 prospectus. Total annual Global Environmental Markets Fund operating expenses, net of any fee waivers, reimbursements and acquired fund fees and expenses, for Institutional Class, Investor Class, and Class A shares were 0.95%, 1.20% and 1.20%, respectively.ˆ
The performance information shown for Class A represents the performance of the Investor Class shares for the period prior to Class A inception. Expenses have not been adjusted to reflect the expenses allocable to Class A shares. Class A inception date return since May 1, 2013 is 9.94% (annualized). A 1.00% CDSC (contingent deferred sales charge) may be charged on any shares sold within 18 months of purchase over $1 million. POP (public offering price) reflects the maximum sales load for the Fund’s Class A Shares of 5.50%.
Global Industry Classification Standard† Sectors
(for quarter ended 3/31/22)
Average Active Weights (%)
|Total Relative Contribution (%)|
†The Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) is a standardized classification system for equities developed jointly by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and Standard & Poor’s. The GICS methodology is used by the MSCI indexes, which include domestic and international stocks, as well as by a large portion of the professional investment management community.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Portfolio Characteristics(as of 3/31/22)
|Market Cap (weighted avg.)∱||$106,999M||$415,040M|
|Number of Securities||50||2,936|
Top 10 Holdings
(as of 3/31/22)
Linde PLC 3.6%, Waste Management, Inc. 3.4%, Schneider Electric SE 3.3%, Agilent Technologies, Inc. 3.1%, American Water Works Co., Inc. 2.9%, Koninklijke DSM N.V. 2.8%, GEA Group AG 2.7%, Hubbell, Inc. 2.6%, Texas Instruments, Inc. 2.5% and Kubota Corp. 2.5%. Holdings are subject to change.
ƒWeighted Average is an average in which each quantity to be averaged is assigned a weight. These weightings determine the relative importance of each quantity on the average.
∼Forward Price-Earnings Ratio or P/E FY1 ratio is a ratio for valuing a company that measures its current share price relative to its per-share earnings over the next 12 months.
∘Return on Equity: The amount of net income returned as a percentage of shareholders’ equity. Return on equity measures a corporation’s profitability by revealing how much profit a company generates with the money shareholders have invested.
∞A historical Beta is used for Funds with greater than two years of performance history under the same mandate. Five year Beta is used. Beta reflects the sensitivity of a Fund’s return to fluctuations in its benchmark; A beta for a benchmark is 1.00: A beta greater than 1.00 indicates above-average volatility and risk.
The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author as of the date of this report. All information is historical and not indicative of future results and subject to change. This information is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Past performance does not guarantee future results.