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Survey Shows Catholic Institutions Want Socially Responsible Investments

Submitted by: Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc.

Categories: Business Ethics

Posted: Mar 31, 2002 – 11:00 PM EST

 

CBIS Survey Reveals Strong Support for SRI Among its Investors

Mar. 31 /CSRwire/ - Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS), a leading investment management firm serving the Catholic institutional market, announced today the results of its Fall 2001 participant survey on attitudes toward socially responsible investing (SRI). The survey results, which are available on the CBIS web site (www.cbisonline.com), demonstrate a strong commitment to socially responsible investing (SRI) among CBIS' institutional investors.

"We have never questioned that our participants care about social and environmental issues," said Brother Michael O'Hern, President of CBIS. "Our approach has always been to integrate faith and finance in promoting the responsible stewardship of Catholic resources. What surprised us, frankly, was the depth and breadth of commitment to our approach, and to socially responsible investing in general." The survey of current CBIS participants found that 97% of respondents considered SRI very or fairly important to their investment decisions. The survey also found that 70% of respondents believe that SRI investments perform on par with or better than traditional non-SRI investments. A similar question posed during a 1997 CBIS survey found that 60% of respondents believed CBIS investments performed as well as non-SRI investments.

"Socially responsible investing is the way we integrate faith-based values into the investment process," said Frank Coleman, Executive Vice President of CBIS. "Faith-based investors clearly believe in responsible stewardship: they want their investments to be both financially sound and socially responsible."

The survey found strong support for "active ownership," a strategy that aims to change corporate behavior through shareholder activism in the form of proxy voting, dialogue and/or filing shareholder resolutions with corporations - on issues such as human rights, diversity, global finance, the environment, healthcare access and battling AIDS in Africa.

The survey also found strong support for what CBIS calls "principled purchasing," a strategy that restricts and excludes investments in certain companies whose practices conflict with Catholic values. These include Life Ethics, Violence, Tobacco and Pornography.

The survey also asked CBIS participants to identify the social and environmental issues of highest priority to them. The top issues identified were:

-Abortion - 59%
-Sweatshops - 56%
-Militarism - 42%
-Healthcare access - 41%
-Stem cell research - 40%
-Human Rights - 40%

Pornography, AIDS, global warming and handguns were also identified as important priorities by a plurality of respondents.

The survey was completed by 133 CBIS institutional investors, the majority of which were Catholic religious institutes. Other respondents included Catholic dioceses, parishes, churches, schools and other Catholic institutions. The survey represents one component of CBIS' ongoing efforts to determine the consensus values of its participants as well as their preferred strategies for addressing social and environmental issues.

Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS) manages approximately $2.8 billion for Catholic organizations seeking to combine faith and finance through the responsible stewardship of Catholic assets. CBIS' combination of premier institutional asset managers, diversified product offerings, and careful risk-control strategies constitutes a unique investment approach for Catholic institutions and their fiduciaries. CBIS strives to integrate faith-based values into the investment process through a disciplined approach to socially responsible investing that includes principled purchasing, active ownership strategies and community investment. The New York-based investment management firm also contributes a portion of revenues to support the Church's educational and social ministry.

Institutional investors seeking additional information about CBIS may call (800) 592-8890 or visit the firm's web site (www.cbisonline.com).

For more information, please contact:

Francis G. Coleman Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS)
Phone: 800-592-8890

 

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