FlexShares Expands ESG & Climate Suite with Emerging Markets ETF

Firm’s sustainable core equity strategy now available across all major equity markets

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Northern Trust Asset Management’s FlexShares® Exchange Traded Funds announced today the launch of a new Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)* ETF focused on climate with exposure to emerging markets: the FlexShares ESG & Climate Emerging Markets Core Index Fund (NYSE: FEEM). This fund builds on FlexShares’ existing climate suite introduced in September 2021, which currently includes US large cap equities, developed markets ex-US equities, and two fixed-income ETFs.

The FEEM fund will align with the broader suite’s strategy, which seeks to help investors improve their portfolio’s overall ESG score and reduce carbon risk while maintaining core equity exposure. The full suite utilizes the Northern Trust ESG Vector Score** as well as a carbon risk rating in an effort to hedge ESG-related risks and capitalize on sustainable opportunities.

The ESG Vector Score methodology, developed by Northern Trust Asset Management (NTAM), seeks to identify ESG-related business issues most likely to impact a company’s financial performance and a portfolio’s investment return. This is combined with a special focus on carbon risk. In partnership with Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), each company is examined using a carbon risk rating methodology to determine its current carbon emissions, its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, and its potential exposure to carbon-risk relative to other companies in its industry. The fund targets a reduction in aggregate carbon emissions and carbon reserves relative to its parent index, while also targeting an overall improvement in its carbon risk rating.

“The addition of the FlexShares ESG & Climate Emerging Markets Core Index Fund will complement FlexShares’ existing climate funds, providing investors a diverse set of core sustainability products they can use for exposure across the globe,” said Crystal McClenthen, Head of Product Strategy, Funds and Managed Accounts at NTAM. “The combination of our ESG Vector Score and carbon risk rating creates a transparent and consistent approach to ESG measurement, which is particularly important when it comes to identifying opportunities in emerging markets.”

FlexShares’ climate suite leverages NTAM’s 30+ years of experience in sustainable investing and over $130 billion in AUM in sustainable strategies. With the addition of FEEM, FlexShares now offers seven ESG and/or climate-focused ETFs in its US lineup.

Darek Wojnar, Head of Funds and Managed Accounts for NTAM, added: “Our central focus at FlexShares is to meet investor goals with innovative solutions, and increasingly that means supporting clients’ sustainability objectives. We believe our deep sustainability expertise and proprietary quantitative models will help investors gain core exposure to global markets while benefitting from the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

* ESG investing is defined as utilizing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria as a set of standards for a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments.

** The Northern Trust ESG Vector Score is designed to rank companies based on their management of and exposure to material ESG metrics. The Score was designed to align with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Standards. The SASB Standards were designed for investors and focus on only financially material issues based on the industry in which the company operates. Based on that structure, the ESG Vector Score is a combination of individual ESG indicators, adjusted for industry membership. Click here to learn more.

About FlexShares

FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds are designed to pursue specific investment goals across both passive and active strategies. FlexShares offers differentiated ETF strategies that can improve and simplify the investment decision process for the long-term investor. Please visit our website or connect with us on our LinkedIn page.

About Northern Trust Asset Management

Northern Trust Asset Management is a global investment manager that helps investors navigate changing market environments, so they can confidently realize their long-term objectives. Entrusted with US$1.3 trillion of investor assets as of December 31, 2021, we understand that investing ultimately serves a greater purpose and believe investors should be compensated for the risks they take — in all market environments and any investment strategy. That’s why we combine robust capital markets research, expert portfolio construction and comprehensive risk management to craft innovative and efficient solutions that deliver targeted investment outcomes. As engaged contributors to our communities, we consider it a great privilege to serve our investors and our communities with integrity, respect, and transparency.

Northern Trust Asset Management is composed of Northern Trust Investments, Inc., Northern Trust Global Investments Limited, Northern Trust Fund Managers (Ireland) Limited, Northern Trust Global Investments Japan, K.K., NT Global Advisors, Inc., 50 South Capital Advisors, LLC, Belvedere Advisors LLC and investment personnel of The Northern Trust Company of Hong Kong Limited and The Northern Trust Company.

About Northern Trust

Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS) is a leading provider of wealth management, asset servicing, asset management and banking to corporations, institutions, affluent families and individuals. Founded in Chicago in 1889, Northern Trust has a global presence with offices in 22 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., and across 23 locations in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. As of December 31, 2021, Northern Trust had assets under custody/administration of US$16.2 trillion, and assets under management of US$1.6 trillion. For more than 130 years, Northern Trust has earned distinction as an industry leader for exceptional service, financial expertise, integrity and innovation. Please visit our website or follow us on Twitter.

Northern Trust Corporation, Head Office: 50 South La Salle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60603 U.S.A., incorporated with limited liability in the U.S. Please read our global and regulatory information.

Before investing, carefully consider the FlexShares investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other information is in the prospectus, a copy of which may be obtained by visiting www.flexshares.com. Read the prospectus carefully before you invest.

Foreside Fund Services, LLC, distributor.

FlexShares ESG & Climate Emerging Markets Core Index Fund (FEEM) is a passively managed fund that invests in emerging market equities and uses a representative sampling strategy to track its underlying index. Use of a representative sampling strategy creates tracking risk where the Fund’s performance could vary substantially from the performance of the underlying index along with the risk of high portfolio turnover. Northern Trust does not attempt to take defensive positions in any market conditions, including declining markets.

ESG Investment Risk is the risk that because the Index Provider includes and excludes issuers and assigns weights to issuers in the Underlying Index by applying non-financial factors, the Fund may underperform the broader equity market or other funds that do or do not use ESG investment criteria. Although the Underlying Index is designed to measure a portfolio of companies with certain ESG characteristics, there is no assurance that the Underlying Index or Fund will be comprised of such securities or that companies that have historically exhibited such characteristics will continue to exhibit such characteristics.

Concentration Risk is the risk that, to the extent the Fund’s investments are concentrated in the securities of issuers in a particular region, country, market, industry, sector or asset class, the Fund may be subject to increased price volatility. Authorized Participant Concentration Risk is the risk that the Fund may be adversely affected because it has a limited number o institutions that act as authorized participants. Derivatives Risk is the risk that the use of futures and options on futures may pose risks in addition to and greater than those associated with investing directly in securities and other instruments, may be illiquid or less liquid, more volatile, more difficult to value and leveraged so that small changes in the value of the underlying instrument may produce disproportionate losses to the Fund.

Non Diversification Risk is the risk that Fund performance may depend on the performance of a small number of issuers because the Fund may invest a large percentage of its assets in securities issued by or representing a small number of issuers. New Fund Risk is the risk that the Fund will not grow to or maintain an economically viable size, in which case it may experience greater tracking error to its Underlying Index than it otherwise would at higher asset levels, or it could ultimately liquidate without shareholder approval.

Foreign Securities Risk is the risk that investing in foreign(non U.S.) securities may result in the Fund experiencing more rapid and extreme changes in value than a fund that invests exclusively in U.S. securities, due to less liquid markets, tariffs and trade disputes and adverse economic, political, diplomatic, environmental, financial, and regulatory factors. Currency Risk is the risk that foreign currencies, securities that trade in or receive revenues in foreign currencies, or derivatives that provide exposure to foreign currencies will fluctuate in value relative to the U.S. dollar, adversely affecting the value of the Fund’s investments and its returns.


Tom Pinto

Doug Holt

Published on April 21, 2022

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