Perspective and commentary on sustainable investing and emerging enviromental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

ESG - Expanding the Horizon of Smart Beta
By Steve Falci, CFA,® Chief Investment Officer, David Loehwing, Director, Sustainability Research | Posted June 2017

Smart beta and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) integration have both gathered strong momentum, with significant asset growth in strategies using each discipline. We believe that there is signifi cant opportunity at the intersection of these two trends. Multifactor smart beta strategies, with their longer-term focus and factor diversification, provide a natural platform for the integration of ESG. Th e ability to systematize original ESG research and data with a focus on risk and materiality provides the opportunity to create a robust ESG score that has the potential to bring an additional source of diversification and risk control to multifactor smart beta strategies. Integrating a robust ESG score with multiple time-tested factors can provide investors with a unique, strong alternative in the smart beta arena.

Making an Impact: Investing in the Transition to a More Sustainable Economy
By Bruce Jenkyn-Jones, Co-Head of Listed Equities, Impax Asset Management | Posted June 2017

Key Takeaways:

  • We have developed a methodology for measuring the Pax Global Environmental Markets Fund’s positive environmental impact.
  • The Fund, with net positive CO2 impact, can make a meaningful contribution to CO2 emissions reductions as well as making a significant impact through water saved and treated, renewable energy generated and waste recycled by investments in environmental solution providers.
  • As one of the first equity funds to provide quantitative evidence of positive environmental impact metrics, the Fund makes a compelling opportunity for investors seeking long-term financial returns, while also investing in the transition to a more sustainable economy.
Where are Climate Risks and Opportunities? Everywhere.
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted June 2017

Key Takeaways:

  • The changing climate will bring both investment risks and opportunities in nearly every industry and sector.
  • Not all the risks fall on emitters, and not all the opportunities are in reducing GHG emissions. For instance, real estate companies with properties in vulnerable locations will be at an increasing risk and flood insurance will cost more, if it is available at all.
  • Since one degree of additional global warming is locked in as a result of past emissions, adaptation to-as opposed to mitigating-climate change creates a different set of risks and opportunities.
Dear Financial Services CEO: Where are the Women?
By Kathleen McQuiggan, Senior Vice President of Global Women’s Strategies for Pax World Management LLC and Managing Director of Pax Ellevate Management LLC | Posted April 2017

Key Takeaways:

  • The lack of women in leadership in the financial services industry is a systemic problem.
  • Women are an opportunity – and continuing to ignore the value we bring to the C-suite, the trading floor and the board room is an unnecessary risk.
  • It’s time to take action, invest in women and make gender diversity a priority at your company.
Tax Reform? Let’s Make It a Carbon Tax
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted April 2017

Key Takeaways:

  • The financial value at risk from climate change is in the trillions of dollars.
  • Our national and global economies are ready for a low-carbon future—all we need is the incentive to invest in one that a carbon tax provides.
  • A carbon tax will send a signal to markets that the way we produce energy now is putting our economies and societies at ever-increasing peril.
The Value of ESG Information in Financial Markets
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted March 2017

Key Takeaways:

  • Financial markets need information in order to work efficiently.
  • Financial analysts can do a demonstrably better job when they have information on sustainability.
  • Requiring sustainability disclosures from companies as a listing standard would help investors, companies, and financial markets—and help reinforce the foundations of civil society.
4 Ways Financial Advisors Can Win Millennial Clients
By Kelly Coyne, Vice President, Business Development at Pax World Management LLC and Pax Ellevate Management LLC | Posted March 2017

Key Takeaways:

  • Engaging the next generation of investors is crucial to the success of your business.
  • Reimagine your role as an advisor—become a co-creator, a resource and an educator.
  • Millennials are a mission-driven generation—they want to invest with purpose and are interested in sustainable investing solutions.
Making a Positive Impact: The State of ESG Advocacy and Engagement
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted February 2017

Key Takeaways

  • Sustainability advocacy and engagement is aimed at longterm outcomes and specifically targets ESG factors.
  • We engage with companies because we believe that improving companies’ sustainability profiles makes them better investments, and helps them perform better in the long run.
  • Shareholders can be a powerful force affecting companies’ strategies and performance – this work is making a difference.
Advancing Gender Equality by Closing the Pay Gap
By Heather Smith, Lead Sustainability Research Analyst | Posted February 2017

Key Takeaways

  • Pay equity is a crucial part of a successful diversity strategy, helping companies to attract and retain talented and motivated employees.
  • Measuring and publicly reporting on pay equity is an important tool in advancing gender diversity and in closing the overall gender gap in the workforce.
  • The role of business has never been more critical in advancing gender equality, and it will require the combined efforts of many to
Sustainability is Alive and Well – and Moving Forward
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted February 2017

Key takeaways:

  • Pax World’s commitment to sustainable investing is not diminished by policy headwinds.
  • Gender equality has become a mainstream economic topic and recognition among investors that gender equality has financial value is growing quickly.
  • Financial markets are increasingly aware of climate risks and opportunities and are integrating that information into investment decisions.
The Business Case for Gender Equality
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted February 2017

Key takeaways:

  • Gender equality is not a zerosum game. Achieving gender equality is a good thing for everyone. Moreover, it’s good for business.
  • Eliminating the gender gap would improve economic efficiency and could add $28 trillion to global GDP.
  • Companies that include women among senior decision-makers and provide equal opportunities to men and women, do better than their competitors.
2017: The Year of Financial Feminism
By Sallie L. Krawcheck, Chair, Pax Ellevate Management LLC | Posted January 2017

Key Takeways:

  • This is the year in which “financial feminism” becomes a thing.
  • Money is power, and as a group, professional women have a lot of it.
  • We are reaching a tipping point in which we can more thoughtfully direct our money to have a positive impact.
Family Friendly Workplaces Are Good For Business
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted November 2016

Key takeaways:

  • Family friendly workplaces offer measurable advantages when it comes to advancing businesses themselves and the business sector as a whole.
  • The most basic thing that family friendly workplaces do for any business is to put that business in a better position to attract, retain, support and advance women employees.
  • Being a good corporate citizen and a profi table, successful business are inextricably linked.
Invest Like a Girl
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted November 2016

Warren Buffett invests like a girl. What? Doesn’t everyone know that men are better investors than women?1

Not if they read. When you really examine what we know about how men and women do at investing, we find that women do just fine at investing, both for themselves and for others. Women, like men, bring some gender-linked qualities to investing that can actually help. So when someone says Warren Buffett invests like a girl, what they mean is that he invests calmly, does a lot of research, and exercises a lot of patience.2

 

1 Sallie Krawcheck, “The Dated Myths That Keep Women from Investing,” LinkedIn, February 24, 2016.
2 Jenna Goudreau, “Warren Buffett Invests Like A Girl?” Forbes, June 27, 2011.

Four Reasons Why Gender Equality In The Workplace Is Closer Than You Think
By Sallie L. Krawcheck, Chair, Pax Ellevate Management LLC | Posted October 2016

The business world is finally changing, and the queen bee’s reign is ending.

More women are investing in each other’s success, putting gender parity in closer reach than ever before.

Women are becoming one of the most powerful and disruptive forces in business and society today.

Three Ways Sustainable Investors Can Source Factor Returns
By Steve Falci, CFA,® Chief Investment Officer | Posted September 2016

Smart beta approaches are gaining prominence in sustainable investing, especially in large cap where it can be difficult for active managers to achieve alpha.

ESG integration is now firmly recognized as a strategy for mitigating risk and adding value that can be systematically captured and emphasized when assembling a portfolio of securities.

Whether in the context of a broad market, narrow theme, or in concert with financial factors, it’s easier than ever for investors to integrate ESG factors into portfolios.

Why Diversity and Equality Should Go Hand in Hand
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted September 2016

There are both business and moral reasons to assure that women and men have equal opportunities to contribute in the workplace.

Gender equality is a key ingredient in channeling human talent in the workforce.

At Pax World we believe gender equality has value for investors.

Environmental Markets – Center Stage for the Resource Revolution
By David W. Richardson, CFA®, Managing Director, Global Head of Marketing and Client Services, Impax Asset Management (U.S.), Nicola M. Fritz, CAIA, Associate Director, Portfolio Specialist, Impax Asset Management (U.S.) | Posted September 2016

Over the last 40 years, the world’s population has almost doubled, the global economy has expanded more than threefold, and so has material extraction.

From an investor’s point of view, optimizing the use of resources can make financial as well as environmental sense.

We believe that environmental challenges and the opportunities to mitigate these challenges are currently the strongest they have been for many decades.

Paradigm Shifts in Investing: Climate Change and Impact
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted September 2016

We are experiencing a significant change in how most people think about the impact of their investments and about their role in mitigating climate change.

Efforts to advance impactfor sustainability and avoid catastrophic climate change are long-term propositions—that need to start now.

We believe that sustainability has a lasting effect that often outweighs political and economic events.

Pulling Back the Curtain: Demystifying Sustainability Analysis
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted May 2016

Key Takeaways:

Many financial professionals lack a solid grasp of what sustainability factors are and how they are material to a company’s performance.

"Is this a sustainable company?" is a complex question and measuring sustainability requires analyzing many aspects of corporate operation.

Financial professionals should understand where sustainability rankings come from, and which capture the most relevant, useful and material information regarding future performance.

Investing as a Social Change Strategy
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted May 2016

Key Takeaways:

We can increase our influence over world events and make a positive impact through our role as investors.

We have the opportunity to invest in ways that seek to ensure that corporations, and markets, produce better outcomes on key social issues.

Investors can participate as active shareholders and engage companies on issues such as climate change and gender equality.

Governance and the Valeant Flea: The Art of Not Living Dangerously
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing, Chris Brown, Chief Investment Strategist | Posted May 2016

Key Takeaways:

Pax World evaluates companies’ corporate governance as part of our investment process.

We believe corporate governance factors can have financial impact and by considering these factors as part of the investment process, we seek to reduce risk and preserve portfolio value.

We removed Valeant from our portfolios due to corporate governance issues – a decision that proved advantageous.

Mind the Pay Gap
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing, Heather Smith, Lead Sustainability Research Analyst | Posted April 2016

Key takeaways:

Every country in the OECD has a gender pay gap – and these gaps are not projected to close for decades.

Closing the gender gap would make the entire economy more profi table and would raise the global GDP.

Companies should report on pay ratios by gender. It is material information that helps inform investors of the quality of a company’s management.

Are You Ready to Invest in Women?
By Kathleen McQuiggan, Senior Vice President of Global Women’s Strategies for Pax World Management LLC and Managing Director of Pax Ellevate Management LLC | Posted April 2016

Imagine walking into your first Wall Street job, fresh out of college, ready to take on the world. That was me twenty-five years ago when I boldly entered the world of finance as a sales assistant for two institutional brokers. At the time I knew nothing about investing or client service, but I knew that it was a fantastic opportunity to learn and it was an environment in which I could thrive—so I was all in. [...]

7 Ways We Can Promote Gender Equality
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted March 2016

Despite some progress, gender inequality persists and women continue to be systematically marginalized and discriminated against around the world.

Businesses have a critical role to play in advancing gender equality and are
a key part of the solution in ending discrimination against women.

Sustainability: Investors Really Can Make a Difference
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted February 2016

Sometimes it can be difficult to recognize positive progress, particularly when current events seem to be dramatically negative. Chinese market woes, terrorism, severe weather, and the hyperbolic rhetoric that always accompanies presidential election campaigns dominate the news in ways that long-term progress toward a more sustainable planet probably never will.

So, it is useful to count the ways in which Pax World’s day-to-day work does make a difference.[...]

Is Sustainable Investing Finally Breaking Through?
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted February 2016

2015 may well go down as the year when sustainable investing went mainstream.

For many years, it felt as though Pax World and a handful of industry colleagues were lonely voices in the wilderness, calling on investors and fi nancial markets to embrace sustainability, to think long term, to insist that corporations not only better serve their shareholders, but other stakeholders as well - their employees, the communities where they do business, the natural environment.[...]

4 Reasons Not to Support Pay Equity
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted February 2016

Unless you’ve been living off-the-grid in recent months, you’ve probably heard a lot about the gender pay gap.

The topic has dominated headlines from the New York Times, to Fortune, to Freakonomics, to the Atlantic, to the Wall Street Journal—and was a point of discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Even Hollywood stars are shining the spotlight on the fact that male and female actors often are not paid equally for appearing in the same film. And in January, President Obama proposed new rules aimed at closing the gender pay gap.[...]

What the Paris Agreement Means for Investors
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted December 2015

The 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) is over, and that means the foundation of the post-fossil fuel era has been laid. It's a good foreword, laying the four cornerstones of a world where all the tribes agree that climate change is a problem that must be solved. 195 nations have, for the first time in the history of climate negotiation, agreed to a set of actions that should reduce the danger we face from climate change.1

1United Nations, "Framework Convention on Climate Change," December 12, 2015.

What You Can Do About Climate Change
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted December 2015

Last week’s landmark climate agreement signed by more than 190 countries at COP21 in Paris marks a turning point in the effort to curb global warming. Until now, our collective response to climate change has been utterly inadequate. The Paris agreement may still be insufficient, but as Mindy Lubber of Ceres has said, the low carbon economy has finally arrived.1

1Peyton Fleming, "Ceres President Applauds Historic International Climate Agreement in Paris," Ceres, December 12, 2015.

Why I am a Male Feminist
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted December 2015

As a male financial executive, I’m well aware that I may not fit the mold of a typical feminist.1
So why have I made gender equality a core tenet of my professional life?

1Lily Rae, "FT’s top feminist men help women succeed in business and beyond," Financial Times, September 15, 2015.

Women and Impact Investing
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted September 2015

We often hear of a "gender gap" in politics. We'll have to see what 2016 brings, but in the 2012 presidential election, women supported Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by 10 percentage points more than men did. In 2000, they supported Al Gore over George W. Bush by 10 percentage points as well, and in 1996 favored Bill Clinton over Bob Dole by 11 percentage points. A gender gap in party affiliation—with women identifying more as Democrats—has been evident since the early 1980s. On public policy issues, women are more likely than men to favor an activist role for government in guaranteeing health care and basic social services while also being more supportive of gun control, same-sex marriage and legalized abortion.1 Essentially, women’s political views in recent decades have trended more moderate-to-liberal while men have trended moderate-to-conservative. [...]

1 Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University, www.cawp.rutgers.edu.

Gender Equality as an Investment Concept
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted September 2015

"The best clue to a nation’s growth and development potential is the status and role of women." — David S. Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations

The above quote, from a learned historian, speaks to a nation’s growth and development potential—and today there is a strong consensus among international development experts that investing in women and girls is probably the most important strategy for alleviating poverty and promoting sustainable development around the globe. CARE, one of the world's largest international humanitarian organizations, put it succinctly on its web site (www.care.org): "We place special emphasis on investing in women and girls because our six decades of experience show that their empowerment benefi ts whole communities." [...]

Climate Change: Identifying Future Makers and Future Takers
By David W. Richardson, CFA®, Managing Director, Global Head of Marketing and Client Services, Impax Asset Management (U.S.) | Posted August 2015

For those investors wondering whether and how climate change might affect their investment portfolios, Mercer, the global consulting firm, has an answer. Mercer’s recent report, Investing in a Time of Climate Change, advises:

"Climate change is an environmental, social and economic risk... investors cannot therefore assume that economic growth will continue to be heavily reliant on an energy sector powered predominantly by fossil fuels. This presents asset owners and investment managers with both risks and opportunities."

The Retirement Savings Crisis "Aha" ...and Why It Really Matters
By Sallie L. Krawcheck, Chair, Pax Ellevate Management LLC | Posted June 2015

Here's what we know: we know that the retirement savings crisis is enormous; by some estimates, Americans are under-saved by up to $14 trillion.1 We know that this number, as large as it is, may in fact be understated, because it assumes Social Security and Medicare solvency ...a big if. We know the solutions to this problem are generally assumed to be a real negative for the economy. As a result, the challenge is so significant and the possible solutions so unpalatable that we are frozen on this problem.

But here’s the dot that few have connected: the retirement savings crisis is also a women's crisis.

Fund Managers Need to Flex Voting Muscles to Force Boards to Appoint More Women
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted May 2015

This article was originally published in InvestmentNews on May 4, 2015. Reprinted with permission.

Mutual fund manager BlackRock Inc. has reportedly revised its proxy voting guidelines and may for the first time oppose the reelection of corporate directors, should it determine that a board’s makeup is insufficiently diverse. At a time when only 17% of Fortune 500 board seats are held by women, this new policy by the largest money manager in the world could be a game changer.

Real liquidity: Why investors care about water
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted May 2015

One of the great teaching tools in undergraduate economics is the Diamond-Water Paradox, which challenges us to think through why water, a necessity of life, is almost free, while diamonds, which pretty much everyone can live without, are expensive. The deus ex machina here is scarcity: Diamonds are scarce, and water isn’t. Rewind the tape: it wasn’t. That’s changing, and fast. [...]

The Smart Way to Divest Fossil Fuels
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing, Steve Falci, CFA,® Chief Investment Officer | Posted April 2015

The New York Times Business section article entitled “Study Claims Oil Divestiture May Hurt College Endowments” on February 9 reported on a new paper, financed by the Independent Petroleum Association of America, claiming that universities that divest from fossil fuel stocks could hurt the value of their endowments. Th e author had to take a very precise and extremely circuitous route to reach this conclusion. We believe that there is plenty of room to achieve competitive returns while also divesting fossil fuel companies from investment portfolios. [...]

Male Business Leaders Need to Support Women's Empowerment
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO, Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission | Posted April 2015

On March 10-11 at The United Nations (UN), leaders from government, civil society and the business sector convened to discuss how business can be a force for change in advancing gender equality across the globe. This call for business to play a leadership role in advancing women could not be more urgent. [...]

Integrating ESG Analysis to Manage Indeterminate Risk
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing, Steve Falci, CFA,® Chief Investment Officer | Posted April 2015

Until recently, sustainable investing has been regarded, at least in North America, as a niche investment strategy. Mainstream asset managers were oft en skeptical of it, primarily for perceived performance reasons. Nevertheless a growing body of evidence has shown that taking environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into account can enhance portfolio management as well as meet the needs of two growing demographics in the market - women and millennials.[...]

Gender Diversity: An Issue to Watch in 2015
By Heather Smith, Lead Sustainability Research Analyst | Posted March 2015

While the business case for gender diversity is well-established with a growing body of evidence linking greater board and managerial diversity with better company financial performance,1 the pace of progress on boards and in C-suites has been remarkably slow. In 2014, the percentage of women on boards globally stood at 12%. Within the S&P 500 Index2, women hold only 19% of board seats and 5% of CEO positions.3 Some estimates show that it will take decades for women to achieve equal representation in the boardroom, and over 80 years to achieve gender parity in the workforce.4[...]

1 See, e.g., Catalyst, Lois Joy, et al, “The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women’s Representation on Boards 2004-2008,” 2011; Catalyst, “The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women’s Representation,” 2007; Mary Curtis, “Gender Diversity and Corporate Performance,” Credit Suisse Research Institute, August 2012; “The CS Gender 3000: Women in Senior Management”, Credit Suisse, September 2014; Andre Chanavat and Katharine Ramsden, “Climb to the Top-Tracking Gender Diversity on Corporate Boards,” Thomson/Reuters, October 2014.
2 Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index is an unmanaged index of large capitalization common stocks. One cannot invest directly in an index.
3 Catalyst, “Women in S&P 500 Companies,” http://catalyst.org/knowledge/women-sp-500-companies, January 2015.
4 World Economic Forum, Global Gender Gap Report 2014, October 2014.

Women Executives Interview with Joe Keefe
By Ellen Kinlin, Women Executives Interviews on the Kinlin.com blog | Posted January 2015

Though it sounds clichéd, it’s nonetheless true: Joe Keefe is a man on a mission. As President and CEO of Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based Pax World Management and Pax Ellevate Management, Keefe is committed to doing whatever he can to move the needle on gender equality for women.[...]

High impact investments drive measurable improvements on sustainability projects globally
By Pax World Sustainable Investing Research Team | Posted January 2015

The Pax World Funds are active participants in the quickly expanding market for green bond and high impact investments that are funding important environmental, infrastructure and community development efforts globally.

These include:

• Green bonds and financing for sustainable infrastructure projects
• Community investment notes and certificates of deposit (CDs)[...]

The Big Idea 2015: Inclusive Capitalism = A More Prosperous Capitalism
By Sallie L. Krawcheck, Chair, Pax Ellevate Management LLC | Posted December 2014

Capitalism is the greatest economic model in history. That said, sometimes it breaks, as we’ve seen. But one of its strengths is that it also can shift and change; and we may be on the verge of one such change, a change that could lead to a more prosperous capitalism.[...]

Women in the Executive Suite: Why is it Good and Where is it Happening?
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted October 2014

In September 2014, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appointed five women to Japan’s cabinet, reinforcing his earlier message that taking better advantage of female talent in the workplace is a key piece of his growth strategy for the country. In 2012, the World Economic Forum (WEF) introduced a quota system to help boost the participation of women in the group’s annual meeting. At the time, just 17% of the participants at the meeting were female. It hasn’t worked; in 2014, only 15% of the attendees at the annual WEF forum at Davos were women. Sad though that is, women are still better represented at WEF than in the executive suites of the world’s businesses.[...]

Beyond Lean In: How to Achieve the Very Real Business Advantages of Diversity
By Sallie L. Krawcheck, Chair, Pax Ellevate Management LLC | Posted October 2014

In recent news: The NFL bumbles through its reaction to charges of domestic abuse by its players. The Census Bureau announces that women are now paid 78 cents for every dollar men earn, up a paltry 1 penny from the prior year.1 Safra Catz takes on the co-CEO role of Oracle2, becoming one of just 25 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.[...]

1U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, P60–249. Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013. Issued September 2014.
2As of 9/30/14, Oracle Corporation was 0.9% of holdings of the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund. Holdings are subject to change.

The Opportunity in the Difficulty
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted September 2014

Climate change can bring out the best in us and help reinvigorate our economy. That’s usually not the headline of a story about climate change, but it’s a headline we can write if we want to. Or we can keep reading stories about devastating storms, receding glaciers, rising seas, and suffocating droughts. Take your pick.[...]

Investing 2.0: A Modern Way To Invest
By Sallie L. Krawcheck, Chair, Pax Ellevate Management LLC | Posted August 2014

June 4, 2014 marked the launch of the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund (PXWEX). And I believe it also marks a step toward a more modern way of investing.

Two thoughts:

Over the past few years, the recovering-research-analyst-in-me has given a lot of thought to how businesses can function more effectively. As I reflected on my hard-won personal experiences in financial services—and examined the reams of research on drivers of corporate performance—the topic of diversity kept popping up… as much as I kept trying to push it away.[...]

Why Gender Diversity Should Matter to Investors
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO, Sallie L. Krawcheck, Chair, Pax Ellevate Management LLC | Posted July 2014

The business case for gender diversity is now well-documented. The research is compelling: when women are at the table-and better yet, in leadership positions-companies simply perform better. [...]

Impact: The Next Stage of Sustainable Investing
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted June 2014

Investing is no longer about style boxes. In the period ahead, it will increasingly be about goals, and about solutions. It will not be just about equities vs. fixed income, or large-cap vs. small-cap, or core vs. value vs. growth, or correlated vs. non-correlated. We saw a plethora of offerings in the so-called non-correlated or alternatives bucket following the 2008 downturn—long/short, market neutral, absolute return—and the financial services industry will continue to come out with new products, some of which are responsive to actual investor needs while others are designed primarily to gather assets and revenue. But new products alone are hardly the solution. [...]

Climate Change: The Externality That Came in From the Cold
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted June 2014

An externality is something that costs nothing on the part of the person or enterprise that creates it, but imposes a cost or conveys a benefit to others. The world is full of them. My children create them by Skyping with their friends at elevated decibel levels all night. Externalities come in all sizes too. Fortunately for my neighbors, the Skype externality stays within the walls of my house. Companies that emit tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) create externalities that are bounded only by the size of the planet. They get so big, in fact, they aren’t externalities any more. [...]

Gaining Enough Ground
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted May 2014

Four years ago, Ceres and Sustainalytics produced a report1 that it called a roadmap for sustainability for the 21st century corporation, and noted that while there were pockets of leadership in sustainability, these pockets were surrounded by oceans of incrementalism that were insufficient to address the sustainability challenges confronting us. Th is year, celebrating its 25th anniversary, Ceres released an assessment of the Roadmap report with the uplift ing title Gaining Ground. The bumper sticker: corporations are doing better at integrating sustainability into their souls. [...]

1Ceres, "The 21st Century Corporation: The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability," 2010.

Fire (Ready, Aim): the Budding Campaign to Diminish Shareholder Rights
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted April 2014

Recently, there have been several public calls by prominent officials calling for curtailment of shareholder activism. Daniel Gallagher, a Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is reported to have said that “the commission must clamp down on the filing of shareholder proposals unrelated to the long-term interests of corporations, such as those relating to climate change or sustainability.” [...]

Investors Can Profit from Rejecting Climate Change Myths
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted March 2014

Climate change is on the agenda again. With the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide surpassing 400 parts per million for the first time in human history, the Obama administration has begun to focus more on the issue. Strict carbon pollution standards will require new coal-fired power plants to capture and sequester at least 60% of CO2 emissions while rules to regulate CO2 emissions from existing power plants are currently being drafted. [...]

United Nations Women's Empowerment Principles Leadership Award
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted March 2014

Joe Keefe was recently awarded with the 2014 Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs)Leadership Award. Presented at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, the WEPs Leadership Awards salute exceptional CEOs for their championship of gender equality and support for the seven Principles, in particular Principle One, which urges companies to establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality. Download Joe Keefe's acceptance remarks.

2014: The Year for a Smart Carbon Tax
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted January 2014

The federal government in Washington, DC is at an all-time low in public esteem. This has to do with a lot of things, from intransigent right-wing ideology (e.g., debt ceiling debacle) to bureaucratic incompetence (e.g., Affordable Care Act website), to partisan gamesmanship (e.g., gerrymandered congressional districts), to outright, willful ignorance (e.g., climate change deniers), to a campaign finance system that produces policy makers held captive to the very special interests they are supposed to regulate (e.g., Wall Street, agribusiness, energy companies).The result is a crisis of legitimacy where ordinary citizens have lost faith in the capacity of government to solve their problems. [...]

Women and Sustainable Investing
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted October 2013

We often hear of a "gender gap" in politics. In the 2012 presidential election, women supported Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by 10 percentage points more than men did. In 2000, they supported Al Gore over George W. Bush by 10 percentage points as well, and in 1996 favored Bill Clinton over Bob Dole by 11 percentage points. A gender gap in party affiliation—with women identifying more as Democrats—has been evident since the early 1980s. [...]

Unburnable Carbon, Material Risks, Tipping Points and Endgames: Time to Suit Up
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted September 2013

The idea that burning the majority of the world’s known fossil fuel reserves would change our climate to a degree that scientific consensus regards as dangerous is fairly new. In the few years it has been with us, it has gone viral. Three years ago the idea that fossil fuel reserves could ever be considered "unburnable" was, if not unknown, deep in the backwater of economic discourse. That changed amazingly fast, and the speed with which that idea has permeated our thinking is indicative of the fact that climate change is full of tipping points. [...]

To Advance Women, Investors Need to "Lean On" Corporations
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted August 2013

In her best-selling book, Lean In, Google's Sheryl Sandberg argues that women need to lean in – essentially, assert themselves – in order to succeed and prosper in our still patriarchal corporate culture. While she doesn’t place the entire burden on women, advocating for example that spouses step up and assume half the household chores, her message is clear: women will need to change their behavior in order to confront the many barriers – external as well as internal – to equality in the workplace. [...]

New Tools Help Assess, Manage Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services Risk
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing, Sissel Waage, Ph.D., Director of Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services, Business for Social Responsibility | Posted June 2013

The discussion regarding biodiversity and ecosystem services is expanding to include more of the world’s corporate leaders. That is a good thing. The voices of Virgin’s Richard Branson, former Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz, and corporate leaders from the Walt Disney Company and Rio Tinto bring heightened awareness to the subject. [...]

Privacy and Data Security
By Michael Connor, Executive Director, Advocacy Open MIC, Corey Johnson, Sustainability Research Analyst, Pax World Management LLC, Natasha Lamb, Vice President, Shareholder and Corporate Engagement, Trillium Asset Management LLC | Posted June 2013

"Your secrets are safe with us." That basic message is conveyed every day, directly or indirectly, by businesses that handle the personal information of virtually every American. [...]

Board Independence and Board Diversity Should Not be Strange Bedfellows
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted June 2013

Since the turn of the millennium we have lived through two extremely painful episodes of corporate governance failure, both of which were implicated as significant culprits in the recessions that followed. Something this important deserves the scrupulous attention of every publicly traded company and its shareholders. That, for all practical purposes, includes everyone. [...]

Investor: Colorado Can Lead in Renewable Energy
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted April 2013

In 2004, Colorado became the first state in the nation to create a Renewable Energy Standard at the ballot box. That year, citizens called for the state to get 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources. Lawmakers took this mandate and raised the bar further, first to 20 percent—then again to 30 percent. Investors and companies have rewarded the state for its efforts. [...]

We Still Need a Carbon Tax, Pipeline or Not
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted March 2013

President Obama has put climate change back on the public policy agenda. Well, Executive Branch policy at least. Congress will of course do nothing, in large measure because one bloc (which happens to be one of our two great political parties) denies the science and receives heavy financial backing from the very special interest that stands to benefit most from doing nothing—the fossil-fuel industry (coal, oil, gas and power companies). [...]

Lead Battery Recycling, Worker Safety, and the Environment
By Greg Hasevlat, Sustainability Research Analyst | Posted March 2013

Technological advancements in how we create, store and access information have changed our lives in ways we could have never imagined. While the electronic devices we use shrink in size, the information we create doubles every two years. As investors participating in this market, we are both excited for its potential to generate value for our shareholders and eager to engage companies on the key environmental and social issues inherent in this system. [...]

Global Board Diversity Still Has A Long Way To Go
By Heather Smith, Lead Sustainability Research Analyst | Posted March 2013

Governments, institutional investors and advocacy groups continue to play a key role in moving companies towards more diverse boards.  [...]

Busting The Myths About Gun Divestment
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted March 2013

The killing of innocent schoolchildren and their teachers in Newtown, Connecticut was the latest in a long list of dreadful events that spotlight the imperfections of our society. But it has brought the issue of investments in gun manufacturers into the national conversation, really for the first time. [...]

Fossil Fuels and Sustainable Investing
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted January 2013

Remarks to student environmental action coalition campaign to divest University of New Hampshire's endowment from fossil fuel companies.

"The growing student movement focusing on divestment from fossil fuels, along with the work of Bill McKibben and 350.org more broadly, deserve encouragement and support — for making the debate about climate change more public, more pointed, more urgent and hitting closer to home."
[...]

From Growth Capitalism to Sustainable Capitalism: The Next 20 Years of Sustainable Investing
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted September 2012

"Twenty years from now, we will have either successfully transitioned from our current economic growth paradigm to a new model of Sustainable Capitalism or we will be suffering the calamitous consequences of our failure to do so. Likewise, sustainable investing will either remain a niche strategy or it will have supplanted mainstream investing [...]

Pax World Announces Advocacy Initiative Results for 2011 Proxy Season
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted August 2011

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.///August 8, 2011/// Pax World Management LLC, (Pax World) investment adviser to Pax World Funds, ESG Shares® ETFs and ESG Managers® Portfolios, and a leader in the field of Sustainable Investing, announced today the results of its shareowner and public policy advocacy work during the 2011 proxy season.[...]

Sustainable Investing and the Next Economy
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted July 2010

Speech To The Boston Economic Club, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

"My remarks tonight are set against the twin backdrops of the Financial Crisis and what I will call the Sustainability Crisis—twin crises that should challenge our thinking about investing, certainly, but also about economics more broadly, as they betray deep-seated, systemic problems that neither government […]

Financial Reform Needs To Protect Investors
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO, Lisa Woll, CEO, Social Investment Forum | Posted April 2010

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) has introduced comprehensive financial reform legislation that will soon go to the Senate floor for debate. The Dodd bill creates a consumer protection watchdog, a financial oversight council to monitor systemic risk and a new office to oversee credit rating agencies. It allows federal regulators to impose strict […]

Shareholder Advocacy Success Stories
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted March 2010

Guidance on Climate Risks and Opportunities A major highlight of Pax’s public policy advocacy over the past year is the January 2010 vote of the SEC to issue interpretive guidance on climate risk and opportunity disclosure.1 There are many ways to pursue sustainability in the […]

The End of the Broker Vote, or the Beginnings of Democracy in America
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted August 2009

Early in July 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finally ended what Beth Young, a governance expert at The Corporate Library, called its “inexplicable waffling” on the last vestige of broker voting: director elections. The rule came in response to a petition from the […]

Data, Efficient Markets and Sustainability: Connecting the Federal Dots
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted May 2009

One of the foundations of modern finance is the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMF), which holds that financial markets are informationally efficient, incorporating all known or relevant information about traded securities. Yet the history of financial markets is studded with revelations of major market participants (and their regulators) ignoring available information, or having no access at […]

Bankruptcy Relief for Homeowners at Risk of Foreclosure
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted April 2009

The United States Senate will likely take up a housing bill next week. The so-called “cramdown” provision – allowing bankruptcy courts to restructure mortgages, including reducing the principal – should be embraced as a relatively simple, tax-free and absolutely essential component. Since 1971, when my company launched the nation’s first socially responsible mutual fund, investors […]

Tone Deaf: Executive Compensation and The Economy
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted March 2009

Outrage over CEO compensation is one of those predictable events, like the annual return of the swallows to San Juan Capistrano. But this year it’s as if a flock of flamingos descended on the old mission, thanks to AIG. While AIG’s recent antics are probably going to hold the egregiousness record for some time, there […]

Sustainable Investing and the Financial Crisis
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted December 2008

Speculative bubbles, before they inevitably burst, are fundamentally the triumph of short-term thinking over long-term thinking, and of short-term investors over long-term investors.The Financial Crisis of 2008 may be unique and unprecedented but it shares elements in common with previous market upheavals, such as the crisis of 1997–1998 or the bursting of the Internet bubble […]

Sustainable Investing as an Emergent Investment Discipline
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted September 2008

The conference we are gathered at is called “Sustainable Investing 2008.” Had this same conference been held a few years ago, it likely would have used the term, “Socially Responsible Investing,” or SRI, to denote the subject matter. Or perhaps “Ethical Investing,” or “Mission-based investing,” or some other variation.The Social Investment Forum—the trade industry association […]

Avoiding a Human Trafficking Jam
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing, Molly Mahoney Betournay, Lead Sustainability Research Analyst | Posted August 2008

A reputation, Benjamin Franklin once said, is like glass and china: it’s easy to crack and never well mended. In the business world, a company’s reputation is intimately tied to its brand, which is one of the key sources of long-term value. Brand, or corporate reputation, is a fundamentally asymmetric thing. A good brand takes years […]

Sustainable Investing and Values
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted March 2008

“In the Spring/Summer 2007 issue of The Green Money Journal, I wrote an article (“From SRI to Sustainable Investing”) arguing that sustainable investing is the next stage in the evolution of socially responsible investing (SRI). This shift from SRI to sustainable investing is not only taking shape in the real world, but the interest in […]

Ecology and the Challenge of Sustainable Investing
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted February 2008

My remarks today will focus on whether sustainable investing can play a significant role in halting the dramatic decline of the world’s natural environment, including the world’s forests, the preservation of which is the focus of your work at the Pinchot Institute. My simple thesis is that sustainable investing can indeed play such a role, […]

Alpha or Beta? The Financial Value of Sustainability
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted October 2007

Every profession probably has its gotcha question, the $64,000 “what did he know and when did he know it” conversation-stopper.  In the world of socially responsible investing, the question comes down to performance: “Can SRI possibly perform as well as mainstream investing?” There is a permutation of this question aimed at companies (“Do responsible corporate […]

The Razor’s Edge
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted June 2007

It’s annual meeting season, when corporate management and boards meet with shareholders. That means it’s also the season to focus on executive compensation, with pay-watchers  looking for the most outrageous stories like birdwatchers awaiting the arrival of the swallows at San Juan Capistrano. Sadly, it doesn’t take powerful optics to see that executive compensation has […]

From SRI to Sustainable Investing
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted June 2007

Over the next 15 years, I think we will see a transition from the old world of socially responsible investing to the new world of sustainable investing. By sustainable investing, I mean the full integration of environmental,  social and governance (ESG) factors into financial analysis and decision-making. This transition is critical if our industry is to […]

Admission Impossible: Or, What Brilliant People Do When They Don’t Know Something
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted May 2007

Warren Buffett, aka the Oracle of Omaha, is a very smart man, and his investors are happily loyal. So when he says things, we all listen, and many of us assume he’s right. But I have yet to find anyone so smart that they’re incapable of being wrong, and in my opinion Warren Buffett is […]

The Board Whisperer
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted May 2007

Connecticut State Treasurer Denise Nappier is recommending that other investors withhold votes for Michael Boskin, a member of the board of ExxonMobil. While it is hardly unprecedented for a shareowner to withhold votes for a director, this is perhaps the first time a major institutional asset owner has so clearly targeted a board member for […]