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huge leap in value of ethical portfolios

December 1999

Investments in ethically screened portfolios have nearly doubled in the United States over the past two years, according to a new report from the Social Investment Forum.

The forum’s 1999 report on socially responsible investment trends in the US shows $2.1 trillion of socially responsible investment, an 82 per growth on the $1.2 trillion invested in 1997.

This contrasts with a 42 per cent growth in total US funds under management during the same period.

The report also reveals that 13 per cent of professionally managed investments in the US now use socially responsible investment criteria, compared with nine per cent in 1997.

However the $2.1 trillion figure, whilst impressive, includes an unspecified and undoubtedly high proportion of portfolios excluding tobacco manufacturers only.

Penny Shepherd, executive director of the UK Social Investment Forum (the sister organization of the US forum), said the study showed the sector’s growth potential.

‘In America a clarification of the law on socially responsible investment by pension funds has been one driver,’ she said. ‘With next year’s disclosure regulation for UK pension funds we may see similar growth here’.




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