Press Release: GBOPHB Launches Wespath Investment Management
For Immediate Release
March 31, 2011
Contact: M. Colette Nies, Managing Director, Communications
(847) 866-4296 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Glenview, IL—The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBOPHB) announced the launch of Wespath Investment Management, a new brand name for its institutional investment services.
“GBOPHB’s vision for Wespath is to extend the reach of our current investment funds to new clients to help them achieve consistent, reliable investment returns aligned with the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church,” commented General Secretary and Chief Executive Barbara Boigegrain. She continued, “Institutional investors face the challenge of balancing the need to meet their investment objectives while honoring their organization’s values. Wespath is uniquely positioned to help them meet this challenge. Our goal is to enable UMC-affiliated institutions to fulfill their mission by providing competitive, cost-conscious investment products that are consistent with the highest standards of responsible investing. UMC-affiliated institutional clients benefit and GBOPHB’s participants benefit because growth in assets helps maintain our relatively low cost structure, which benefits the denomination.”
GBOPHB has a reputation for values-aligned investing and leadership, and achieving positive results. It is recognized internationally due to its leadership role with the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. For UMC-affiliated institutions, Wespath combines investment performance and principled, responsible investing that upholds their organization’s values.
GBOPHB recently announced the creation of Wespath Investment Management to conference benefit officers and treasurers at its annual Conference Forum meeting in Chicago.
“We chose the name Wespath to reflect GBOPHB’s heritage, and because it provides strong brand recognition to build on as we expand our existing services and explore new investment relationships,” noted Chief Investment Officer Dave Zellner. The name has two important elements. Wes—recognizes and honors John Wesley, the founder of Methodism and a strong advocate for social justice. Path—refers to our goal of providing clients with the best path to financial growth and our commitment to values-aligned investing.
Serving UMC Investment Interests
Nearly $1.5 billion of the $17 billion in assets managed by the Wespath division of GBOPHB is invested on behalf of institutional investors such as annual conferences, UMC foundations and other UMC-affiliated organizations.
Wespath adheres to a long-term, disciplined approach to investing—a major factor in the funds’ history of competitive performance against relevant benchmarks.
Wespath funds utilize a multi-manager structure comprised of a carefully selected group of highly-regarded investment managers and specialty boutiques, providing clients access to a broad range of investment strategies that might otherwise be inaccessible.
Increased assets under management help defray the costs of administering the pension plans—helping GBOPHB to maintain a high quality, low cost service model for participants.
GBOPHB is an internationally recognized leader for responsible investing—promoting sustainable investment practices focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) advocacy.
Over the past 20 years, GBOPHB’s Positive Social Purpose Lending Program has earned market rates of return while making more than $1.5 billion of loans available for affordable housing, health care facilities, charter schools for underserved communities, and microfinance organizations to lend to the working poor in lesser developed countries.
UMC Service Enhancements
Wespath.com, a new website, focused on investment education and awareness.
A new account portal in Wespath.com offering enhanced transactional capabilities.
A Wespath client management team, led by Managing Director Derek Casteel, was formed to directly service UMC-affiliated institutional investment needs.
For further information on Wespath Investment Management, visit GBOPHB at www.wespath.org and click on the Wespath banner or contact Wespath at 847.866.4100.
The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBOPHB) is a not-for-profit administrative agency of The United Methodist Church, responsible for the general supervision and administration of the retirement, health and welfare benefit plans, programs and funds for more than 74,000 clergy and lay employees of the Church.
GBOPHB is the largest faith-based pension fund in the United States; with approximately $17 billion in total assets under management, it ranks among the top 100 pension funds in the country. As a socially responsible investor, GBOPHB is actively involved in shareholder advocacy, proxy voting, portfolio screening and community investing.