By Thomas M. Kostigen

AdvisorShares in late May launched a new exchange-traded fund that will support sustainability themes globally. A portion of the assets will support a charitable foundation co-founded by Philippe Cousteau, grandson of the famed explorer Jacques Cousteau.

The Global Echo ETF now trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GIVE.

"GIVE is a broadly diversified multi-manager ETF with a focus on sustainable investment themes, that seeks to achieve long-term capital appreciation with an emphasis on absolute (positive) returns and low sensitivity to a blend of traditional financial market indices such as the S&P 500 Index, over a full market cycle. GIVE has four portfolio managers allocating to different investment strategies and asset classes," Bethesda, Md.-based AdvisorShares said in a statement.

The ETF is an impact investment vehicle for the masses, blending social and environmental impact, as well as financial return.

Four investment managers utilize different strategies to exact gains and create impact. Of the fund's management fee of 1.10%, 40 basis points will be contributed to The Global Echo Foundation. The foundation provides funding solutions to many of the challenges facing the world, including social issues impacting women and children, environmental conservation and social entrepreneurship.

AdvisorShares notes that it will contribute additional amounts to support Cousteau's educational efforts, as well as to other charitable causes.

"By launching GIVE, we are creating an innovative and transparent investment model that will help drive resources to address many of these global challenges," Cousteau said. "GIVE's combination of strategic investment and sustainable philanthropy will not only create a positive impact for investors but help foster a legacy beyond monetary value."

Meanwhile, investment managers will approach impact with financial goals in mind.

Community Capital of Weston, Fla. will employ a domestic core fixed income strategy; Baldwin Brothers of Marion, Mass. will employ a global equity strategy; Reynders, McVeigh Capital Management of Boston will also employ a global equity strategy, but with more of a U.S. focus; and First Affirmative Financial Network of Colorado Springs, Colo. will employ an alternative long/short investment strategy.