MSDW Chooses Socially Responsible Benchmark

April 19, 2001 ( - Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co will be the first to use a newly created socially responsible index as the benchmark for a fund it plans to launch in June.

According to registration papers filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the investment bank plans to offer the Morgan Stanley KLD Social Index Fund, which will track the new KLD Large Cap Social Index, according to Investor News Service.

Companies in the Russell 1000 Index whose labor, product safety and environmental history meet criteria set by Kinder, Lydenberg, Domini & Co. (KLD), the research firm that created the index, are included in the new benchmark, while companies that generate revenue from tobacco, alcohol or gambling are excluded.

The research company will also launch a socially responsible index based on the Russell 2000, a small-cap benchmark, to complement its large cap index.