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SRI market gets a new image

June 2000

A novel way of classifying socially responsible investment (SRI) funds has been developed by SustainAbility.

In its report, A responsible investment, the management consultancy classifies SRI funds into four groups – Crusaders, Merchants, Monks and Pioneers. These categories are ‘intended to capture the approach some funds have adopted in conducting their ethical investment strategies’, and may also be applied to SRI fund analysts, the authors say.

Crusaders are led by social and environmental values and think strategically. Merchants are demand-driven, Monks take a strong moral stance on certain issues while Pioneers are motivated primarily by financial value. The new wave of SRI funds consists mostly of Pioneers.

The Jupiter Ecology Fund (UK) is cited as an example of a Crusader. Dreyfus (US) is a Merchant and most of the early charitable SRI funds (US and UK) were Monks. VTZ’s Terra Trust fund (Switzerland) is a Pioneer, says the study, based on over 30 interviews with SRI professionals in the US, Europe and Asia.




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