ARK Enters Social Investing Waters

May 2, 2001 ( - Baltimore-based ARK Funds now offers four new funds targeted at religious institutional investors, the firm's first foray into socially responsible investments.

The new funds, which opened yesterday, include:

  • the ARK Social Issues Intermediate Fixed Income Portfolio – invested primarily in intermediate-term fixed income securities
  • the ARK Social Issues Blue Chip Equity Portfolio ? invested in a diverse group of companies perceived as market leaders
  • the ARK Social Issues Capital Growth Portfolio – invested in common stocks and securities that offer above average earnings and sales growth potential
  • the ARK Social Issues Small-Cap Equity Portfolio – invested in companies with market capitalizations of $2 billion or less, with perceived above average growth potential, as well as companies in “special” situations. Those situations may include possible merger or acquisition, spin-offs, legal rulings, reorganizations, new products, technologies or initial public offerings

ARK already has 25 funds and almost $6.8 billion in assets under management.

Allied Investment Advisors, the investment advisor to the ARK Funds, will manage the Social Issues Portfolios. Allied Investment Advisors is a subsidiary of Allfirst Financial, owned by Allied Irish Banks.

The four funds will not invest in companies that manufacture products or employ practices related to:

  • tobacco
  • alcohol
  • gambling
  • nuclear power
  • weapons
  • abortion
  • contraception

While there are no current plans to proactively seek companies with superior social or environmental performance, the firm is leaving open the possibility of future changes.