New Index Released for Socially Responsible and Catholic Investors

October 2, 2006 ( - Philadelphia-based Benchmark Asset Managers has created an index that follows the performance of the Standard & Poor's 500, but will exclude companies that are not considered socially responsible or that engage in business against Catholic conviction, such as abortion.

The Benchmark Collaborative Index will include traditional screens (weapons, military contracting, tobacco, environment, nuclear power and adult entertainment), as well as screen on Catholic social values, such as abortion, abortion products and stem cell research, according to a press release.

Particularly, the index will not:

  • Include companies that derive more than 5% of their revenues from alcohol, gambling, tobacco, and military contracting, 
  • Hold shares in any company that derives revenue from nuclear power, have poor environmental records or are actively involved in the adult entertainment industry,
  • Include any company that derives revenue from abortion services and products or is involved in stem cell research.

IW Financial, a provider of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data, will handle the research and analytics for the index.

The asset manager is also creating the Catholic Social Values Portfolio – a separate account based on the new index – for those wanting to invest $3 million of more, and as a pooled fund for investors wanting to invest $300,000 or more, the release said.

More information may be found at .