NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--U.S. Trust today launched a new component of its proprietary and customizable Socially Innovative Investing (S2I) strategy. The Carbon Reserve-Free Strategy (CRF) offers investors who want to express their environmental values the opportunity to invest in a portfolio that excludes companies that own, extract, distribute and/or process carbon reserves, as well as first-order users including the utilities and energy sectors.
The CRF was developed in response to rising demand among investors seeking companies with superior environmental business initiatives. The objective is to provide clients a U.S. equity allocation that delivers risk-adjusted returns comparable to its S&P 1500 benchmark with companies that are environmentally focused.
“We know investors care about the environment and increasingly want to express this through their investments,” said Jason Baron, head portfolio manager for social investments at U.S. Trust. “With rising carbon emissions and climate change concerns, investors want to be able to do their part to support a low-carbon economy. Investing in companies that support the environment, sustainability and carbon divestment principles is one way to have a positive impact on the world for future generations while continuing to seek returns and adding eco-friendly investment options to client portfolios.”
The CRF is composed of securities identified as environmental stewards according to a multi-factor screen. It is derived from U.S. Trust’s Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability (E2S) portfolio.
The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US SIF) recently estimated assets held in impact investing strategies, including those based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles, increased by a factor of eight between 2012 and 2014, to $5 trillion.
A new report released by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, “Impact Investing: The Performance Realities,” projects further growth for impact and ESG investments, as individual investors increasingly insist upon investment options that reflect their commitment to environmental and social issues.
“We are seeing dramatic growth in the use of strategies that advance positive societal values,” said Christopher Hyzy, chief investment officer for Bank of America’s Global Wealth and Investment Management (GWIM) division, which includes U.S. Trust and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. “As these investing strategies become more sophisticated, they no longer necessarily require a trade-off in performance, increasing their appeal to investors.”
Socially Innovative Investing (S2I) is a proprietary strategy developed and managed by U.S. Trust. It is based on the premise that strong corporate financial performance and social responsibility are not mutually exclusive; rather, they are mutually beneficial qualities. S2I incorporates an active, proprietary method for reviewing U.S. securities across a wide spectrum of criteria weighting both social responsibility and financial fundamentals. Other components of S2I include Women and Girls Equality Strategy (WGES); Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability (E2S); Religious Voice & Values (R2V); and Human Rights & Recognition (H2R).
In November 2014, Bank of America’s GWIM division signed the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) on behalf of its discretionary asset management businesses. The PRI initiative is respected around the world as the foremost global network for investors and financial services participants who are committed to integrating ESG considerations into their investment practices and ownership policies.
U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management is a leading private wealth management organization providing vast resources and customized solutions to help meet clients' wealth structuring, investment management, banking and credit needs. Clients are served by teams of experienced advisors offering a range of financial services, including investment management, financial and succession planning, philanthropic and specialty asset management, family office services, custom credit solutions, financial administration and family trust stewardship.
U.S. Trust is part of the Global Wealth and Investment Management unit of Bank of America, N.A., which is a global leader in wealth management, private banking and retail brokerage. U.S. Trust employs more than 4,000 professionals and maintains 97 offices in 31 states.
As part of Bank of America, U.S. Trust can provide access to a broad range of banking solutions for individuals and businesses, and an extensive retail banking platform.
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