Press Release: GBPHB Becomes Wespath Benefits and Investments
For Immediate Release
July 18, 2016
Contact: Sheri Young, Associate General Counsel
(847) 866-4663 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: M. Colette Nies, Managing Director, Communications
(847) 866-4296 or email@example.com
Glenview, IL—The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBPHB) has been renamed Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath). With a broad communications program reaching over 100,000 plan participants and institutional investors, the agency staff and the services they provide continue to support retirement, health and welfare plans, and investment fund management.
Name Change Background
Over the course of its 108 years of service, the scope of the agency’s mission evolved and its name evolved with it, expressing the nature of its work. Consequently, the name became increasingly longer and did not reflect the significant investments aspect of the agency’s work today. At approximately $20 billion in assets under management, Wespath is the largest reporting denominational investor in the world—and among the top 100 of all U.S. pension funds. The agency name was changed to reflect this important aspect of its mission.
The name Wespath was originally developed in 2010 as a brand for the agency’s investments division, which began to reach outside its normal sphere of conference contacts to increase assets under management, further securing long-term pension benefits.
The name was created with two primary elements in mind:
Wes—recognizes and honors John Wesley, the founder of Methodism and a strong advocate for social justice;
Path—refers to the agency goal of providing participants and institutional clients with a path to follow in achieving personal health, investment and retirement objectives.
While the name Wespath honors Wesley, it also implies other Wesleyan philosophical tenets—the importance of physical health, financial security and caring for God’s creation. Wespath reflects the agency’s Wesleyan heritage, and the notion of being on the right path in all three areas in which it operates for plan participants and for the UMC. The name Wespath has already achieved name recognition across the UMC through the many UMC-affiliated organizations among the agency’s institutional investment clients.
For more information about Wespath Benefits and Investments, visit www.wespath.org or call 1-800-851-2201.
About Wespath Benefits and Investments
Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath*) is a general agency of The United Methodist Church (UMC) with fiduciary responsibility for the benefit plans it administers and the assets it invests.
Prudent investment management decisions are an ongoing, long-term priority, supporting benefit plans for over 100,000 participants and approximately $20 billion in assets managed on their behalf, and that of many United Methodist-affiliated endowments, foundations and other institutions. This fiduciary obligation reflects the stated values of the Church and helps ensure financial, environmental and social sustainability across all investments.
A not-for-profit administrative agency of the UMC, Wespath Benefits and Investments is the largest reporting faith-based pension fund in the world, and among the top 100 pension funds in the United States. As a sustainable investor, Wespath Benefits and Investments, and its Wespath Investment Management division, are committed to active ownership through corporate and public policy engagement, proxy voting and the management of excessive sustainability risk.
* Previously the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church