DWS Group Inc., the asset-management business of Deutsche Bank AG , recently raised $843 million in a single day for a new fund that tries to invest in the best corporate citizens in the U.S.
It was one of the most successful exchange-traded-fund debuts of all time, and especially noteworthy in the slow-growing corner of the market devoted to responsible investing.
For years, asset managers have been trumpeting a new dawn for strategies that deliver competitive returns along with a clear conscience. In the past year alone, firms including Vanguard Group, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and BlackRock Inc.’s iShares have introduced more than a dozen ETFs that use environmental, social and governance scores to pick stocks and bonds.
But investors have been slow to buy into so-called ESG funds. The triumphant inaugural run of DWS Group’s Xtrackers MSCI USA ESG Leaders Equity ETF may signal a step change in investor participation.