Citizens Funds Expands Social Investing Role

September 13, 2002 ( -Citizens Funds has expanded the amount of corporate governance issues it reviews when it considers corporate investments, the company said in a statement.

While the Portsmouth-New Hampshire fund group has traditionally focused on diversity on boards of directors and among senior managers, Citizens officials are now getting involved in issues such as auditor independence – as it has with Microsoft, the company said.

Citizens’ resolution on auditor independence will be on Microsoft’s proxy in November, Citizens said.

The company said it has been successful in the past in encouraging a number of companies to add women and/or minorities in key positions.

For example, Citizens’ said its resolution asking American Power Conversion to nominate qualified women and minorities to its board was the most successful board diversity resolution in the United States in 2001, according to the Investor Responsibility Research Center in Washington.

The resolution received a 28% yes vote, compared with an average 19% yes vote for board diversity proposals, the company statement said.
Citizens analyzes corporate governance issues from both a fundamental and social point of view, the company said.