Tuesday, October 25, 2016

This week the AIM students learned about SRI and Catholic responsible investing from representatives of Christian Brothers Investment Services

 Christian Brothers Investment Services  (CBIS) 
Promotes Socially Responsible Investing

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On Monday, October 24th, Dr. Krause and the students in the AIM program heard an excellent presentation about socially responsible investing (SRI). Representing Christian Brothers Investment Services were Julie Tanner, Director of Catholic Responsible Investing; Tim Schwarzenberger, Head of Portfolio Services; and Tom Kelly (AIM alumnus), Portfolio Specialist, Distribution Services Team

Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS) is a Catholic socially responsible asset management firm. Founded in 1981 by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, CBIS works exclusively with Catholic institutions and their fiduciaries. They offers services to numerous dioceses, colleges and universities, religious institutes and health care systems. They currently manage over $6 billion in assets globally and have offices in the U.S. and Europe (New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Rome).

Julie Tanner, Tim Schwarzenberger,
Tom Kelly, and Dr. David Krause
Christian Brothers uses Catholic beliefs as the basis of their ongoing corporate dialogues, encouraging companies to create long-term strategies and policies that potentially reduce investment risk and increase shareholder value.

Dr. Krause said, “Christian Brothers is a manager of managers. In other words, they engage third parties to actively sub-advise the assets in their portfolios. They offer two product lines: US-domiciled, commingled funds and Ireland-domiciled global funds for Catholic institutions in select countries around the world.

The AIM students learned that CBIS’ primary investment philosophy is to deliver highly competitive risk adjusted investment returns in a manner consistent with the moral and social teachings of the Catholic Church. They believe that they successfully utilize investors who can generate favorable long-term risk-adjusted performance and support the conviction of Catholic responsible investing. Their process is to utilize Catholic investing screens to avoid companies providing products or services that violate Catholic teachings.
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Julie Tanner, Director,
Catholic Responsible Investing

Examples of key issues that could exclude firms from their portfolios include those that produce or engage in providing the following: abortifacients, contraceptives, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, fetal tissue research, pornography, major weapons manufacturers, producers of landmines, manufacturers of firearms, tobacco products, etc.

Their process involves reviewing company researchand creating a list of prohibited companies to their sub-advisers. They employ a diverse range of strategies to implement their Catholic responsible investing program which includes screening and activism.

By active ownership of the shares of firms that do not meet their standards they engage in some or all of the following activities: corporate engagements, shareholder resolutions and proxy voting.

Image result for christian brothers investment services Tim Schwarzenberger
Tom Kelly
Dr. Krause commented, “It was great to see Tom Kelly and I am pleased that he was able to bring his colleagues to campus. The AIM students engaged in a discussion with our guests from CBIS about socially responsible investing (which is an investment strategy which seeks to consider both financial return and social good).  They were very interested in learning more about ESG investing – which is the incorporation of environmental, social and governance factors into traditional financial analysis. It was an excellent presentation and the AIM students are likely to not only select companies with strong financial performance prospects, but also those that are ESG leaders in their respective industries.”

After the class, Mr. Bill Walker (AIM Adjunct Lecturer) and I met with Julie, Tim and Tom to discuss ways that the AIM program can work SRI practices into the investment curriculum. Krause summarized, “This was an excellent presentation and I know that the students are committed to making sound investment decisions that consider both financial return and social good – it is consistent with our mission and values at Marquette University.”