Wespath launches new ‘Social Values Choice’ Suite of Funds

From the January 2018 issue of Hark!

Fund Update

On April 7, 2018, the name of the Equity Social Values Plus Fund (ESVPF) changed to the Social Values Choice Equity Fund (SVCEF), to align with the naming convention adopted for the “Social Values Choice” suite of funds. The fund strategy remains unchanged.

Wespath has launched its “Social Values Choice” suite of funds for participants who have a heightened focus on companies’ environmental and social performance. The suite includes two fixed income funds, which are now available to participants, and an equity fund.

View Wespath's Sustainable Investment Strategies Infographic

The funds include:

Combined, the three funds provide access to asset class diversification and inflation protection. The two new fixed income funds were introduced for participants on December 16, 2017.

“A number of Wespath’s participants have expressed an interest in investment options that adhere to heightened environmental and social investment criteria. While participants already had access to ESVPF, we felt that they would benefit from additional diversifying options,” Dave Zellner, Wespath’s Chief Investment Officer, said.

SVCBF, an actively-managed fixed income fund, and ESVPF, a passively-managed global equity fund, adhere to investment guidelines addressing concerns expressed in resolutions approved by a threshold number of United Methodist annual conferences dealing with:

  • Companies that derive a significant amount of revenue from the production of fossil fuels; and
  • Companies named in petitions related to peace in the Middle East.

USTPF seeks to complement the bond and equity funds by helping to mitigate the effects of rising inflation.

“We recognize that a number of our participants have a deep desire to align their investments with their personal beliefs,” said Wespath General Secretary, Barbara Boigegrain. “We have worked closely with key stakeholders to provide a prudent diversifying option for these investors.”

All three funds are available to participants who self-direct their investments in Wespath’s defined contribution plans, and for institutional investors associated with The United Methodist Church.

The funds are not available to participants who are enrolled in LifeStage Investment Management. They may not be appropriate for all participants. Consider contacting EY Financial Planning Services at 1-800-360-2539 to assess whether they fit your investing goals.*

Read more about SVCBF, USTPF and ESVPF at wespath.org/investments/funds.

* Costs for EY Financial Planning and LifeStage services are included in Wespath’s operating expenses that are paid for by the funds. EY Financial Planning Services are available to active participants and surviving spouses with account balances, and to retired and terminated participants with account balances of at least $10,000.

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