IW Financial Acquires Firm that Tracks Terrorist State-linked Companies

September 17, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - IdealsWork, Inc. has acquired Conflict Securities Advisory Group, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based firm, which tracks down companies linked to the U.S. State Department's list of terrorist-sponsoring governments.

According to a press release, CSAG will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of IW Financial, the parent company of IdealsWork. “The ability to screen for exposure to terrorist-sponsoring states is increasingly important to both institutional and individual investors,” said Sam Pierce, Chief Executive Officer at IW Financial,” in the press release.

The news of the acquisition follows a June announcement that the two companies would work together to offer institutional, plan sponsor, and asset management clients research, analytics and consulting services enabling them to satisfy the divestment and/or engagement requirements of all pending or future legislation on Iran, Sudan or other states designated by the U.S. as sponsors of terrorism (See  IW Financial Offers Solution for Compliance with Divestment Laws ).

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made the State Department’s list, which includes such countries as Cuba, North Korea, Syria, Sudan and Iran, available to investors in June (See  SEC Makes Terrorism-Link Info Available to Investors ).  

The online SEC tool gave investors access to information directly from company disclosure documents about their business interests in countries the U.S. Secretary of State has designated “State Sponsors of Terrorism.” The Web site came with SEC Chairman Christopher Cox’s assurance that investors should never have “to wonder whether his or her investments or retirement savings are indirectly subsidizing a terrorist haven or genocidal state.

The list came under criticism in July by   House of Representatives Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, who said the SEC should consider a more accurate method for compiling the document and argued that some of the companies have already dumped their ties with the terrorist states (See   Legislator Condemns SEC’s Method for Pinpointing Terrorist State-linked Companies).  The SEC is a client of CSAG.

CSAG operates www.terrorfreeinvesting.com .