Catholic Investment Firm Says Abortion, Stem Cell Research Top Concerns

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 14, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Investment Firm Says Abortion, Stem Cell Research Top Concerns Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 14, 2004

New York, NY ( — An investment firm that caters to Catholics and Catholic institutions says that investors looking for morally sound companies to put their money behind are most interested in making sure their dollars don’t support abortion or embryonic stem cell research.

According to those responding to a new survey conducted by Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS), abortion was the top issue priority for Catholic investors in 2004 and embryonic stem cell research showed up in the number five spot.

"We go through this exercise to ensure that our socially responsible investing policy is aligned with the views of our participants," explains Francis Coleman, CBIS executive vice president.

CBIS surveyed 151 Catholic institutions, including diocesan offices, religious orders, hospitals, and colleges and universities.

The last survey the firm conducted was in 2001 and it, too, showed abortion as the top concern among Catholic investors. Stem cell research also came in fifth in the previous poll.

John Wilson, also of the investment firm, said, "The survey findings clearly show a growing Catholic institutional investor emphasis on socially responsible investing."

Wilson indicated that 83 percent of those surveyed said socially responsible investing was a strong priority.

"A nearly identical 82 percent said that they believed shareholder advocacy — what we refer to as ‘active ownership’ — has a meaningful impact on corporate behavior," Wilson said.

Catholic investors hope their investments will result in changed corporate philanthropic behavior.

The CBIS survey detected strong support for "active ownership," a strategy that aims to change corporate behavior through shareholder activism in the form of proxy voting, dialogue, and, filing shareholder resolutions with corporations.

Other concerns rounding out the top five included environmental justice, military construction and pornography.

CBIS is the leading U.S. investment manager exclusively serving Catholic institutions and it manages $3.5 billion in assets.

Related web sites:
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