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Calvert Expands Corporate Governance Guidelines within Social Screening Criteria

Submitted by: Calvert

Categories: Corporate Governance

Posted: Aug 22, 2002 – 12:00 AM EST


Firm Issues Special Report on Web; Provides Info. on Corporate Governance Activities

Aug. 22 /CSRwire/ - BETHESDA, Maryland - Today, Calvert announced that it has added a new set of corporate governance and business ethics guidelines to its social investment criteria. In summary, the new guidelines state that Calvert will not invest in companies whose corporate governance and business practices have compromised the interests of shareholders. In addition, Calvert will avoid companies that have engaged in serious securities fraud and whose corporate governance is significantly worse than that of its peers.

"Calvert's social analysis has always included several facets of corporate governance," said Barbara J. Krumsiek, President and CEO of Calvert. "Now, we examine data on fifty-one separate issues pertaining to corporate governance when conducting our company analysis," she added.

The fifty-one items include: independence and diversity of boards and key committees; compensation of executives and directors; the quality and independence of auditors; corporate charters and bylaws; and the degree to which shareholders are informed and consulted on material items such as anti-takeover provisions and stock option plans. Calvert also examines corporate records of litigation or regulatory investigation to identify companies whose business practices have damaged investors, consumers, workers, and communities.

"We think companies with poor governance are more likely to stretch the rules," said Julie Gorte, Director of Calvert's Social Research. "It's not surprising that the incidence of securities fraud litigation and penalties are significantly higher among companies with non-independent boards and provisions that limit shareholder participation," she added.

And as part of its ongoing efforts to educate its clients and the public about social investing, Calvert published a special Web based report entitled Rebuilding: Corporate Ethics and Investor Confidence. The Report is a compilation of opinions and perspectives from Calvert's CEO and senior members of the investment group. It is designed to offer the firm's perspective in the wake of recent corporate governance scandals. This Web based report can be accessed at http://www.calvert.com/commentary.html.

Calvert's special report Rebuilding: Corporate Ethics and Investor Confidence contains:

President & CEO Barbara J. Krumsiek's perspective on what lessons investors can learn from recent corporate scandals.

Senior Vice President of Equities, Kemal Ahmed's perspective on the U.S. equity market.
Fixed Income Strategist Steve Van Order's comments on interest rates and the global and U.S. economies.

Social Research Director Julie Gorte's analysis how social investing can help investors find good corporate management.


· Calvert urges Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey Pitt to strengthen the requirements for company reporting of social and environmental impacts.

· Calvert supports the Financial Accountants Standards Board in the Board's Proposal on Disclosure of Intangible Assets.

· Calvert comments on the New York Stock Exchange's recent amendments to listing standards.

Calvert is one of the largest mutual fund complexes in the Washington D.C. area with approximately $8.5 billion in assets under management. Best known for its family of socially responsible mutual funds, Calvert offers twenty-nine funds that allow individual and institutional investors to pursue a broad range of investment objectives within a single fund family. Calvert launched the Calvert Social Indexä, a benchmark for measuring the performance of large, U.S.-based socially responsible companies. Calvert also has an extensive lineup of tax-free and taxable fixed income investments. For more information on Calvert, click on www.calvert.com.

For more complete information about any Calvert mutual fund, call 800.368.2748 for a free prospectus or go to our Web site at www.calvert.com. Read it carefully before you invest.

Calvert mutual funds are underwritten and distributed by Calvert Distributors Inc., member NASD, a subsidiary of Calvert Group. 4035 (8/02)

For more information, please contact:

Elizabeth Laurienzo Calvert Mutual Funds
Phone: (301) 657-7047
Melinda Lovins Calvert Mutual Funds
Phone: (301) 657-7089


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