R&M European Change for Better Fund

A sustainable SFDR-9 fund focused on the transition of polluting activities which aims to achieve real-world positive impact for the environment

Why Change for Better?

  • A sustainable SFDR-9 European Equity fund that combines contrarian and value credentials
  • Focused on the transition of polluting activities, leading to “off the beaten track” ESG investments
  • With re-rating potential and an actual real-world positive impact on the environment
  • A great diversifier for clients over exposed to the same narrow set of ESG growth stocks
  • Run by experienced European equities manager, James Sym.

What is SFDR article 9?

In March 2021, the European Union’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) came into force.

The SFDR is designed to help institutional asset owners and retail clients understand, compare, and monitor the sustainability characteristics of investment funds by standardising sustainability disclosures.

Under article 9, a fund must have sustainable investment as its objective.

Our sustainable investment objectives

  • To invest in companies which are facilitating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
  • To invest in companies which are contributing to the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems, and the transition to a circular economy
  • To support and invest in companies which are facilitating the social objectives of reducing gender discrimination, race discrimination and economic inequality and contributing to meaningful work, employment, and diversity.

Investment philosophy

The fund is absolutely focused on helping to solve some of the key societal challenges of our time, especially climate change. The difference in our approach is that we focus on decarbonising currently polluting activities and industries rather than those which are already ‘good’ today. This is the only way in which we are going to limit climate change – just having a portfolio which is low carbon today is merely avoiding the issue.

This has profound implications for the sort of investments we will make. Rather than a list of commonly held companies which are perceived as good simply because their business activities happen to have low carbon emissions, we will be investing in companies which expect to show improvement, and enablers of that improvement. This leads us to stocks with rerating potential and fits well with our contrarian and valuation-orientated mindset.

Investment process

The fund is an SFDR Article 9 fund, managed via R&M’s established Sustainable-PVT (S-PVT) process, where ESG is an integral part of our approach.  We believe that a sustainable business compounds value for all stakeholders over the long term. It is a responsible steward of capital with a culture of longevity. We evaluate sustainability through the pillars of People, Innovation and the Environment, including companies undergoing change leading to positive long-term outcomes. The process therefore complements James Sym's ESG investment philosophy.

Fund facts


£140.4m at 31 Jan 2023


No target or constraining benchmark

Stock count


Market cap range


Share classes


Fund manager

James Sym

Fund literature

About the fund manager

photo of James Sym

James Sym
Head of European Equities PVT Equities

James graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in Natural Sciences. James joined Cazenove Capital in 2007 as a graduate trainee in Wealth Management before moving to the Pan European desk in 2008. In 2012 he launched the Cazenove European Income fund as co-manager and, following  the Schroders acquisition of Cazenove in 2013, was appointed manager of a number of continental and pan European equity products, ultimately managing over £2bn of client assets as well as forming the specialist European equity team at Schroders.

He joined River and Mercantile in June 2020 and is a member of the PVT equities team with responsibility for the European franchise.

photo of James Sym

Speak to us

Simon Smith

Head of Wholesale Distribution

Simon Smith

Head of Wholesale Distribution

Simon Smith is Managing Director, and Head of UK Wholesale Distribution, responsible for creating a market leading customer centric distribution business working with wealth managers across the UK for the benefit of investors. Simon has spent a 25 year career working for some of the industry's leading asset managers including M&G, Standard Life Investments and most recently nine years overseeing the growth of Merian UK Wholesale (Old Mutual Global Investors).

Martin Canavan

Sales Director, North England, Scotland, Ireland & Isle of Man

Martin Canavan

Sales Director, North England, Scotland, Ireland & Isle of Man

Martin began his career in asset management sales in 1996 with Deutsche Bank. He has since held roles with AEGON Asset Management and Merian Global Investors (formerly Old Mutual), before joining R&M in August 2020. He is a highly experienced Sales professional with strong relationships across a range of client segments, covering the UK, Isle of Man and Ireland. Martin holds the Investment Management Certificate.

Marcus Honig

Sales Director, London

photo of Marcus Honig

Marcus Honig

Sales Director, London

Marcus graduated from Glasgow University with an MA (Hons) degree in 2001. Throughout his career in financial services Marcus has worked for companies including Chase de Vere, Scottish Widows and Neptune Investment Management, before joining R&M in June 2017. Marcus holds the CII Level 4 Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning as well as the Certificate in Discretionary Investment Management. He is an experienced Sales and Distribution professional with strong client relationships across the UK.

Nick Pearse

Sales Director, Midlands, South East, South West & Channel Islands

Nick Pearse

Sales Director, Midlands, South East, South West & Channel Islands

Nick joined R&M in January 2021 from Jupiter, which acquired Merian Global Investors in 2020, where Nick worked for the past decade.

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