Aperio Group Announces Release of Catholic Advocacy Portfolio

June 9, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) -Financial advisory firm Aperio Group LLC has paired with Aquinas Associates to develop a portfolio that adheres to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) socially responsive investing guidelines. 

According to a press release, The Catholic Advocacy Portfolio, which was designed for high net worth and institutional investors, seeks to match the performance of the broad equity market while meeting and exceeding the USCCB Guidelines. The funds that make up the portfolio underwent a rigorous screening process developed by Aquinas Associates, and will continue to be subject to active corporate participation. The Catholic Advocacy Portfolio is designed to track the broad equity market and forecasted to have a tracking error of less than 1%. 

Companies included in the Aperio Catholic Advocacy universe must first prove that they do not exceed a maximum threshold involvement in abortion, contraception, cloning, human embryonic stem cell and fetal research, pornography, military weapons of mass destruction, landmines, tobacco, alcohol or gambling.  

In order to fully comply with USCCB guidelines, the release claimed, Aquinas Associates (acting on behalf of investors) engages companies on issues such as human rights, racial and gender discrimination, labor standards, access to pharmaceuticals, affordable housing/banking, protecting the environment, global warming, access to water, and encouraging corporate responsibility.  

“The new Catholic Advocacy Portfolio will now allow Catholic investors concerned with adhering to the Bishops’ principles to invest in the U.S. equity market without sacrificing their values or returns, and to avoid paying excessive fees,” said Patrick Geddes, Aperio’s CIO, in the announcement. 

The product fact sheet is available here. 


-Sara Kelly