Assets under management (AUM): $253.63M (in US$ millions) - See other performance data below
General Fund Type: International, Global, Foreign
Specific Sizes or Types of Investments: Institutitonal
Financial Objective: Long-term capital appreciation
Specific ESG Focus: Boston Common integrates financial and sustainability factors into its investment process because we believe Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) research helps us identify companies that will be successful over the long-term. We believe successful investors need to assess a company's fundamentals, or an industry’s evolution—in the wider context of economic, environmental, social and financial stability. We seek companies that can capitalize on new market opportunities, implement efficiency improvements, and avoid unanticipated costs stemming from inadequate attention to ESG risks. As a result, we believe ESG research helps improve portfolio quality and financial return potential. As global investors, we have built an extensive network of research sources, NGOs and activist groups to improve our understanding of corporate conduct in all markets. We use our voice on behalf of the Fund’s shareholders to raise environmental, social, and governance issues with the management of select portfolio companies through a variety of channels. These include dialogue with management, voting proxies in accordance with ESG guidelines, and participation in the annual shareholder meeting process. Through these efforts, Boston Common seeks to steer company managements towards greater transparency, accountability, and longer term thinking.
To invest, call: 1-877-777-6944
Boston Common Asset Management
Mutual Funds Description: Boston Common Asset Management is an investment manager and a leader in global sustainability initiatives. We specialize in long-only equity and balanced strategies and pursue long-term capital appreciation by seeking to invest in diversified portfolios of high quality, socially responsible stocks. Through rigorous analysis of financial, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors we identify what we believe are attractively valued companies for investment. As shareholders, we urge portfolio companies to improve transparency, accountability, and attention to ESG issues. Our focus is global; we manage U.S. and international portfolios to meet the needs of institutional and individual investors. We are independent, employee-owned, and field a seasoned, close-knit team of professionals.
Minimum Account: $100,000
Screening Venue: In-house
Boston Common has 16 employees dedicated to investments, including four on the ESG research/shareholder engagement side. We consider this the full investment team. All investment team members contribute to the international equity strategy in some capaci
Screening Database Used:
Our ESG team utilizes a number of outside resources and databases when researching companies, including ESG street research and ESG data vendor information, company filings and SEC databases, websites and databases by non-government organizations, news databases, etc. We rely on the fundamental judgment of our ESG research professionals to determine whether a company is appropriate for our portfolios.
Our ESG research process integrates information from disparate sources to form a holistic understanding of corporate performance. We review company filings, trade journals, and industry reports to understand a company’s products and activities, and place it in context with its peers. We search business and news databases to capture events and analyses related to corporate practices. We reference additional databases that document defense contracts, legal proceedings, and environmental violations, as well as subscribing to specialized ESG data services. We communicate regularly with a range of stakeholder organizations, about corporate behavior on the ground. We query corporate management through meetings, letter campaigns, emails, and phone calls about areas of particular concern. Drawing on this mosaic of sources, our analysts distill conclusions about a company’s overall profile across the full set of ESG issue areas.
Proxy Voting Guidelines or Policies: --
Proxy Voting Records: Open external link in new window
- Climate / Clean Technology: Combination of Positive and Restricted/Exclusionary Strategies - The Fund seeks companies that produce innovative, desirable products. The Fund avoids companies that are major coal producers; companies whose primary revenues come from the mining of uranium or the production of electric power relying on coal or nuclear power. The Fund also avoids companies whose primary revenues are from producing corn-based ethanol and that generate their primary revenues from the mining, processing or production of tar sands. In challenging sectors, our goal is to find companies that are leaders on ESG issues relative to industry peers, and avoid ESG laggards.
- Pollution / Toxics: Combination of Positive and Restricted/Exclusionary Strategies - The Fund seeks companies with superior records in environmental responsibility and avoids companies that are egregious violators of regulations or exhibit a pattern of negligence.
- Other Environmental: Combination of Positive and Restricted/Exclusionary Strategies - The Fund seeks to invest in companies that display a commitment to good standards and compliance. The Fund avoids companies that receive significant revenues from nuclear power plant design, construction, maintenance or parts.
- Community Development: Positive Investment - The Fund seeks to invest in companies that demonstrate high levels of accountability in their involvement with the communities in which they operate.
- Diversity & Equal Employment Opportunity: Combination of Positive and Restricted/Exclusionary Strategies - The Fund seeks companies that have strong programs to promote diversity and demonstrate support for work/life balance initiatives. The Fund avoids companies that have a history of significant employment discrimination.
- Human Rights: Combination of Positive and Restricted/Exclusionary Strategies - The Fund seeks companies that have explicit human rights principles or global labor standards with independent monitoring and reporting. The Fund avoids companies that have a history of significantly and directly supporting human rights abuses.
- Labor Relations: Combination of Positive and Restricted/Exclusionary Strategies - The Fund seeks companies that have positive relations with union representatives or initiatives encouraging employee participation, The Fund avoids companies that have a history of violating fair labor standards and freedom of association
- Conflict Risk: Restricted/Exclusionary Investment - The Fund avoids companies that have significant, direct operations in the Sudan,
- Board Issues: Combination of Positive and Restricted/Exclusionary Strategies - The Fund seeks companies that allow shareholders to influence strategic decision-making, exhibit Board diversity and independence and align their interests to enhance shareholder value. The Fund avoids companies that currently engage in egregious activities that compromise shareholder value such as extortion, bribery, securities fraud and corruption.
- Executive Pay: No Screens - We have addressed this issue at times via shareholder engagement. Our successful engagement with AFLAC led it to become the first company to adopt a 'Say on Pay' vote for its executive compensation in 2008.
- Alcohol: Restricted/Exclusionary Investment - The Fund excludes companies that receive significant revenue or have leading market share in the production and marketing of alcoholic beverages, including components.
- Animal Welfare: Restricted/Exclusionary Investment - The Fund excludes companies that engage in irresponsible animal testing or widespread abuses of animals.
- Defense/Weapons: Restricted/Exclusionary Investment - The Fund excludes companies that : (1) receive significant revenues from the production of firearms or military weapons systems including key components, (2) produce biological, chemical or nuclear weapons, anti-personnel land-mines or cluster munitions (zero tolerance), or (3) rank in the top 50 global defense contractors for weapons.
- Gambling: Restricted/Exclusionary Investment - The Fund excludes companies that receive significant revenues or have leading market share from gambling devices or activities including lotteries and hotels with casinos.
- Tobacco: Restricted/Exclusionary Investment - The Fund excludes companies that receive significant revenues or have leading market share in production and marketing or tobacco products, including components.
- Other/Qualitative: The fund seeks companies that produce safe, useful, high-quality products or services that enhance quality of life for their consumers.
- Shareholder Engagement - Shareholder Resolutions: Filed or co-filed with companies on environmental, social or governance issues
- Shareholder Engagement - Private Dialogue: Conducted with companies on environmental, social or governance issues
- Description of Shareholder Engagement: We use shareholder leverage to influence corporate and industry practices globally, often in collaboration with coalitions of shareholders and activist organizations. Avenues for promoting change include constructive dialogue, targeted data gathering and promoting industry best practices, key performance indicator (KPIs) and metrics development, multi-stakeholder initiatives shareholder resolutions, public policy testimony, and proxy voting. We develop our engagement strategy as long-term, global investors. We have access to high-level management, including, in some cases, board members and CEOs. Over the years, our team has built up a network of corporate, investor, industry and non-governmental organizations around the world. These organizations serve as invaluable sounding boards for us on shareholder engagement issues, and have partnered with us on numerous shareholder initiatives. We have served as founding members or leadership roles in industry initiatives such as the Access to Medicines Index (ATM Index) Access to Nutrition Index (ATNI), the Global Network Initiative (GNI), and the Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN). . We have also played a leading role in building partnerships with organizations such as the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR), Ceres, ASrIA, the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) to develop a platform on social, environmental and corporate governance issues and coordinate shareholder engagement with other investors.
Year-to-date rate of return: 16.69%
1-year rate of return: 12.18%
3-year rate of return: 7.62%
5-year rate of return: 4.06%
10-year rate of return: --
Previous year rate of return: -13.38%
Management fee: 0.8%
Expense ratio: 1.12%
Standard deviation: 13.99%
Benchmark used: MSCI EAFE Equity | External link (Opens in a new window)
Disclaimer: Before you invest, you may want to review the Fund’s prospectus, which contains more information about the Fund and its risks. You can find the Fund’s Prospectus, Statement of Additional Information and other information about the Fund online at http://www.bostoncommonfunds.com/literature.html. You may also obtain this information at no cost by calling (877) 777-6944.