Submitted by: Metropolitan Group
Categories: Socially Responsible Investing
Posted: Feb 06, 2007 – 12:00 PM EST
Feb. 06 /CSRwire/ - SAN FRANCISCO, CA - February 6, 2007 - Recent media coverage of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's investment portfolio choices has increased the national dialogue on socially responsible investing, leaving some to believe that screening companies for social responsibility will not necessarily result in solid investment returns.
"Quite the opposite" says Thomas Van Dyck, Senior Vice President at RBC Dain Rauscher, who consults on approximately $1 billion for foundations and high net worth individuals. "Strategies like portfolio screening, shareholder engagement and community investing are potentially very powerful tools. They have not only demonstrated their ability to help create impressive returns, but they’ve been proven to be a factor in influencing management practices."
Van Dyck points to The Educational Foundation of America (EFA), a foundation with approximately $220 million in assets that has experienced consistently strong performance since adopting a screening program 14 years ago. EFA places an emphasis on environmental screens and posts a summary of its screening policy on its website: http://www.efaw.org/ResponsibleInvestments.htm.
"Our screened portfolio has consistently beaten the market," says John Powers, a board member of EFA. "I urge foundations to use all means to achieve their goals and not lose the opportunities inherent in shareholder initiatives and screening their portfolios. Socially responsible investing can grow assets and strengthen missions."
"Foundations can align mission and investments through proxy voting and company dialogues, socially responsible investing and screened portfolios or mission related investing such as community investments and micro-lending" says Conrad MacKerron at the As You Sow Foundation. "EFA has pioneered an innovative strategy that is being adopted by many other philanthropists."
The SRI Wealth Management Group at RBC Dain Rauscher provides comprehensive institutional investment consulting and wealth management advice with a specialization in socially responsible investing ("SRI"). Since 1983, members of the Group have developed social investment strategies for sophisticated investors committed to social change. Today, the team of seven investment professionals consults on approximately $1billion in assets and is one of the leading investment consulting groups in the country exclusively focused on social and environmental investing.
RBC Dain Rauscher Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (RY: TSX, NYSE), is one of the nation's largest full-service securities firms with more than 1,650 financial consultants and 5,000 employees. The company serves individual investors and entities through offices coast to coast, and capital markets and correspondent clients in select U.S. and international markets. Listed on the Jantzi Social Index and Dow Jones Sustainability Index, RBC is a global leader in corporate social responsibility and environmental finance. Please visit www.RBC.com/RESPONSIBILITY to learn more about our commitments to community, environment sustainability, diversity and corporate governance.