U.S. ‘socially screened’ funds draw second-biggest inflows ever
U.S. investors poured $4.7 billion into so-called socially responsible mutual funds and exchange-traded funds in 2017, the category’s second-biggest annual inflow ever, with managers pointing to Trump administration policies as a reason for the move.
The industry remains relatively small, with an estimated $2.6 trillion in funds that screen investments based on companies’ social and environmental impact, compared with $16.3 trillion in all funds, according to the Investment Company Institute trade group.
Fund managers and advisors said interest in socially conscious investing was boosted by President Donald Trump in June announcing his intention to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, arguing it would undermine the U.S. economy.
“Trump saying he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Accord was the biggest single driver and served as a call to arms for pension funds and other investors to step up,” said William Vaughn, a research analyst at Philadelphia-based Brandywine Global, which manages approximately $74 billion in assets.
Photo courtesy of Ron Kroetz.