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TIAA-CREF Adds 2% Target For Proactive Social Investments In CREF Social Choice Account

Submitted by: TIAA-CREF

Categories: Socially Responsible Investing, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Jul 10, 2007 – 02:45 PM EST

 

Portfolio to Include a Wide Range of Investments in Affordable Housing, Community Development and Environmental Programs

Jul. 10 /CSRwire/ - NEW YORK, NY - July 10, 2007 - TIAA-CREF, the national financial services organization and leading provider of retirement services in the academic, medical and cultural fields, today announced a two percent target allocation to proactive social investments within the fixed income portion of its CREF Social Choice account (the Account). The two percent target will be based on the Account's total net assets.

"We continue to see increasing demand for socially responsible investments from our clients and the broader marketplace, including the ability to invest in initiatives such as renewable energy sources and economic development programs in the United States and abroad," said Herb Allison, Chief Executive Officer, TIAA-CREF. "We are very pleased to offer interested clients options that allow them to further align their investments with their values by seeking out and supporting positive social investment opportunities for our socially-screened portfolio."

Under the new target allocation, the Account will seek opportunities to invest in publicly traded fixed income securities that finance initiatives in areas including affordable housing, alternative energy such as hydro-electric power and economic development programs in the United States and abroad. These investments will be selected based on the same financial criteria used by TIAA-CREF's Global Public Markets group in selecting fixed-income investments for the organization’s other funds. The new allocations made in CREF Social Choice will complement existing private market investments related to microfinance, affordable housing and community economic development currently pursued by TIAA-CREF through its TIAA Traditional account.

"We continue to listen to our participants views on a wide range of social investing issues and understand that making investments that support social and environmental issues are important to many of them," said Scott Budde, Managing Director and head of TIAA-CREF's Global Social and Community Investing Department. "Our new target for proactive social investments in CREF Social Choice will help address a wide range of pressing social problems through market-based solutions that can also generate competitive returns for our clients and is a natural extension of our existing microfinance and community investing programs."

With $8.9 billion in net assets as of March 31, 2007, CREF Social Choice is the largest socially screened portfolio in the United States with over 430,000 individual investors. The Account is a balanced portfolio with an overall target asset allocation of 60 percent equity securities and 40 percent fixed income securities. The new two percent target allocation, subject to market conditions and valuation parameters, would result in over $175 million of investments. TIAA-CREF expects to begin reporting progress toward meeting the two percent target investments in the fourth quarter of 2007.

"We are currently seeing an increasing number of competitively priced securities that fit within our valuation parameters in areas with positive social impact," said Sanjeev Handa, Managing Director and head of TIAA-CREF’s Global Public Markets group. "We look forward to providing dedicated investment professionals from the Global Public Markets area to seek out fixed-income investment opportunities that will allow us to link investor values with investment opportunities we believe offer attractive risk versus reward characteristics."

"We applaud TIAA-CREF's leadership in integrating additional socially responsible investing strategies into the CREF Social Choice Account," said Lisa Woll, Chief Executive Officer, Social Investment Forum. "The Social Investment Forum, a leader in promoting community investing, welcomes this innovative approach which will benefit key sectors such as alternative energy, housing, and economic development in need of investment dollars, while helping to secure the retirement needs of their investors."

TIAA-CREF's Social & Community Investing department was created in May 2006 to focus on a series of investment programs and oversee the screening methodology used by the CREF Social Choice and the TIAA-CREF Social Choice Equity Funds. Other recent advancements in the social and community investing program include:

  • The placement of $22 million with ShoreBank, America's first and largest community development bank and one of the few offering accounts earmarked for community redevelopment (January 2007)

  • The creation of a $100 million Global Microfinance Investment Program, the first investment of its kind by a major American institutional investor (September 2006)

  • A comprehensive survey of TIAA-CREF clients which found that financial return is a top priority and that a majority also want their social values reflected in their investments (July 2006)

    Please note that CREF Social Choice is subject to asset allocation risk and the risks associated with equity and fixed income securities.

    You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. Please call 1 877-518-9161 or view a current prospectus that contains this and other information. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.

    About TIAA-CREF

    TIAA-CREF is a national financial services organization with more than $414 billion in combined assets under management (3/31/07) and the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields. Learn more about TIAA-CREF.

    TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, and Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., distribute securities products.

  • For more information, please contact:

    Phone: 212-916-4808
    Phone: 212-916-4381

     

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