Abortion High Priority among Catholic Investors

April 1, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Six out of 10 clients of an investment company that specializes in the Catholic institutional market, say abortion is the issue they were most concerned about when choosing investments.

Respondents to the Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS) client survey also listed as important issues:

  • worker sweatshops, 56%
  • warfare, 42%
  • health care access, 41%
  • stem-cell research, 40%
  • human rights, 40%

Pornography, AIDS, global warming and handguns were also identified as important priorities.

Generally, the survey found that 70% of respondents believe that investments made using socially responsible criteria perform as well or better than regular investments. The latter figure is up from 60% in a 1997 CBIS survey.

The CBIS survey also found strong support for:

  • active ownership,  a corporate governance strategy that tries to change corporate behavior through shareholder activism. Activists can use proxy voting, dialogue and/or filing shareholder resolutions with corporations,
  • principled purchasing,  a strategy restricting and excluding investments in certain companies whose practices conflict with Catholic values. These include life ethics, violence, tobacco and pornography

The survey was completed by 133 CBIS institutional investors, the majority of which were Catholic religious institutes. CBIS manages $2.8 billion for Catholic organizations.

The survey results are available on the CBIS Web site .