Throughout our history, Prime Buchholz has partnered with clients who have sought to align their investments with their mission.From endowments seeking to divest from fossil fuels or tobacco and alcohol to environmentally oriented foundations who both divest from fossil fuels and proactively invest in solution-oriented products to clients who want their managers to integrate ESG factors into their investment process, we have been helping clients create portfolios that reflect their values for more than two decades.
What began as an organized task force looking specifically at socially responsible investing over a decade ago has transformed into our 20-member Mission-Aligned Investment Committee, which mirrors in structure our traditional Asset Class Committees. This Mission-Aligned Investment Committee meets regularly to formally discuss managers, portfolio implementation and emerging trends, and the continuing challenges and opportunities in mission-aligned investing that could potentially impact clients’ investment programs. The Committee provides updates to staff through our weekly Firm-wide meeting, professional development seminars, and at our annual summer summit—a meeting of the research team and consultants. Additionally the Mission-Aligned Investment Committee is tasked with working with clients and client service teams to find solutions for clients seeking to align their mission with their investments, and attending client meetings to provide education on sustainable, responsible, and impact investing to include trends we are seeing across the ESG space.
We have helped clients create investment policy statements that incorporate their mission and philosophy and have assisted them in developing socially responsible guidelines.We have extensive experience working with clients to build portfolios and/or select managers that meet their specific requirements from a sustainable/ESG perspective. We have performed a variety of exposure analyses for clients to help them understand their exposure to specific industries, including fossil fuels, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, GMO, and weapons manufacturing. We also provide research to address performance and fiduciary concerns, assess third-party ratings providers, help set priorities for implementation based on client goals and the robustness of the asset class universe, and create monitoring tools to allow clients to track and report their progress on mission-related goals.
As part of our continued efforts to expand and share our skill set and knowledge in this area, we have partnered with various organizations such as the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN), a peer-learning network advancing intentionally designed endowments, of which Prime Buchholz is a founding member. We have also partnered with BASIC and CERES and became signatories of the United Nations supported PRI initiative in the latter half of 2015. We’ve also worked in support of our clients in partnering with these and other organizations. Similar to how we assist clients through their traditional audits, we’ve helped assemble data to meet the reporting requirements of initiatives such as UN PRI and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), and Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS), while supporting clients in becoming UN PRI signatories.