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Mercy Investment Services, Inc.

PRI reporting framework 2020

You are in Strategy and Governance » Investment policy

Investment policy

SG 01. RI policy and coverage

New selection options have been added to this indicator. Please review your prefilled responses carefully.

01.1. Indicate if you have an investment policy that covers your responsible investment approach.

01.2. Indicate the components/types and coverage of your policy.

Select all that apply

Policy components/types

Coverage by AUM

01.3. Indicate if the investment policy covers any of the following

01.4. Describe your organisation’s investment principles and overall investment strategy, interpretation of fiduciary (or equivalent) duties,and how they consider ESG factors and real economy impact.

Mercy Investment Services is committed to being a leading voice in socially responsible investing by utilizing:

  • Portfolio Screens – Avoid investment in certain companies whose products, services or activities are notably contrary to these guiding principles and actively seek investments in companies whose activities demonstrate a positive record of accomplishment in matters aligned with the guiding principles of the Sisters of Mercy.
  • Shareholder Advocacy – Actively promote changes in corporate practices to achieve social and economic justice, a sustainable Earth and the common good.  As a means of speaking with a corporate voice and promoting systemic change in addressing our global reality, implement a comprehensive program of Shareholder Advocacy, in collaboration with others who share our commitment to human dignity, mercy and justice.
  • Impact Investing – Use financial resources to assist in addressing underlying environmental and social justice issues to make investments in 1) low-income communities and underrepresented populations as a means of being responsive to basic human needs, addressing climate change, and promoting systemic change and justice, and 2) global projects for expanding renewable energy, energy and water efficiency, sustainable agriculture, green buildings, and materials recycling.

01.5. Provide a brief description of the key elements, any variations or exceptions to your investment policy that covers your responsible investment approach. [Optional]

Mercy Investment Services, as a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, recognizes the moral imperative to work for a just and sustainable world, and embraces socially responsible investing as a means of promoting systemic change to respond to the critical needs of the time. Inspired by the mission, vision and Direction Statement of the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Investment Services is committed to be a leading voice in socially responsible investing. We take our example from the legacy of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, who devoted her life and financial resources to the service of the poor, sick and uneducated, with a particular focus on women and children. She was a tireless advocate on behalf of those marginalized by society, and she collaborated with others to remedy the injustices of her day. 

Mercy Investment Services recognizes that the investment of financial resources is itself a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy, which gives expression to our enduring concerns for the poor, sick and uneducated. Consistent with its role as a responsible social and financial steward of the invested assets of the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Investment Services seeks to preserve and enhance the funds while utilizing investments congruent with the values and mission of the Sisters of Mercy, as amplified in the Direction Statement and critical concerns of the Sisters of Mercy, acting in harmony with the Mercy International Association justice agenda, both locally and globally. In order to meet these goals, Mercy Investment Services will utilize Portfolio Screens, thereby avoiding investment in certain companies whose products, services or activities are notably contrary to these guiding principles. It will actively seek investments in companies whose activities demonstrate a positive record of accomplishment in matters aligned with the guiding principles of the Sisters of Mercy.

Mercy Investment Services will actively promote changes in corporate practices to achieve social and economic justice, a sustainable Earth and the common good. As a means of speaking with a corporate voice and promoting systemic change in addressing our global reality, Mercy Investment Services will implement a comprehensive program of Shareholder Advocacy, in collaboration with others who share our commitment to human dignity, mercy and justice. Through this program, Mercy Investment Services will engage companies by filing resolutions and participating in dialogues, educate on issues of concern, and vote proxies of companies owned in the investment portfolio.

We also recognize the critical role financial resources play in addressing underlying social justice issues, such as inadequate access to housing, jobs, education and health services in underserved communities, and in witnessing to our enduring concerns about creating a just and sustainable world. We affirm our commitment to investments in low-income communities and underrepresented populations as a means of being responsive to basic human needs, promoting systemic change and justice and as a prudent investment of our funds. Consequently, Mercy Investment Services will continue a Community Investing Program that was begun in 1995, known as Mercy Partnership Fund. We commit to a leadership role in community investing in both our significant funding of Mercy Partnership Fund and in our collaboration with others to respond to these global needs. These community investments are expected to preserve invested capital while earning less than market returns in exchange for their high social impact. Recognizing that addressing climate change is the greatest moral imperative of our time, Mercy Investment Services created the Environmental Solutions Fund in 2015, which funds mission-related, positive market-rate alternative investment projects focused on renewable energy, energy and water efficiency, materials recycling, green buildings, sustainable agriculture and sustainable forestry. 

Mercy Investment Services' approach to ESG and socially responsible investing is defined in two policies: the Statement of Investment Policies and Objectives and the Social Responsibility Philosophy and Policy. These documents, which describe the essential components of our socially responsible investing program, are regularly reviewed and updated by the appropriate committees and proposed to the Board of Directors for approval, as appropriate.

In addition, recognizing that addressing climate change represents the greatest moral imperative of our time, Mercy Investment Services adopted a Statement on Climate Change in 2016, which describes the organization’s efforts and the multiple approaches of company engagement, proactive investments in clean energy solutions, exclusion of certain sectors (thermal coal, oil sands), and the need for attention to our own carbon consumption. This policy is regularly reviewed and updated by the Social Responsibility Committee, as needed. 

01.6. Additional information [Optional].

          
        

SG 01 CC. Climate risk (Private)


SG 02. Publicly available RI policy or guidance documents

 

02.1. Indicate which of your investment policy documents (if any) are publicly available. Provide a URL and an attachment of the document.

URL/Attachment

URL/Attachment

URL/Attachment

02.2. Indicate if any of your investment policy components are publicly available. Provide URL and an attachment of the document.

URL/Attachment

02.3. Additional information [Optional].

These and other items requested, including a policy setting out our overall approach and the governance structure of organizational ESG responsibilities, are included within the Information Memorandum, which is shared annually with our investment participants. This document is not available to the public given restrictions regarding the organizations allowed to participate in the program.

In addition, Mercy Investment Services produces an annual impact measurement and management system for its shareholder advocacy and impact investing programs. Selected highlights from the detailed summary can be found in the annual Accountability Report (see Reporting) and at the following:

  • Shareholder Advocacy - https://www.mercyinvestmentservices.org/our-impact-%E2%80%93-shareholder-advocacy.aspx
  • Mercy Partnership Fund - https://www.mercyinvestmentservices.org/our-impact-%E2%80%93-mercy-partnership-fund.aspx
  • Environmental Solutions Fund - https://www.mercyinvestmentservices.org/our-impact-%E2%80%93-environmental-solutions-fund.aspx

Finally, Mercy Investment Services, through ISS proxy voting service, votes all of its proxies in accordance with guiding principles focused on governance, social and environmental criteria. Results of our proxy voting records are available at https://www.mercyinvestmentservices.org/proxy-voting.aspx.

 


SG 03. Conflicts of interest

03.1. Indicate if your organisation has a policy on managing potential conflicts of interest in the investment process.

03.2. Describe your policy on managing potential conflicts of interest in the investment process.

Mercy Investment Services' Conflict of Interest Policy, which was initially approved by the Board of Directors on March 8, 2012, was created to prevent the professional and personal interests of the directors, officers, committee members and staff from influencing the performance of their duties on behalf of the organization. In general, individuals are obligated to avoid and disclose conflicts of interest involving Mercy Investment Services and remove themselves from a position of decision-making authority with respect to any conflict situation. The policy establishes processes and procedures regarding: the duty to disclose, determining whether a conflict of interest exists, procedures for addressing the conflict, violations of the conflict of interest policy, records of proceedings, and ongoing reporting and reviews.

Annually, the revised Conflict of Interest Policy and Conflict of Interest Policy Questionnaire are distributed to all members of the Board of Directors, committees, subcommittee and staff. The responses to the questionnaires are reviewed by the Audit Committee, and a summary of all responses are shared with the chairperson of the Board of Directors.

03.3. Additional information. [Optional]


SG 04. Identifying incidents occurring within portfolios (Private)


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