“We are pleased to introduce a family of funds that help our current clients and other public and private entities meet a socially-oriented investment objective without undue risk to the long-term goal of funding retirement benefits for public employees,” said Lyle Logan, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Institutional Sales and Client Servicing for NTGI, in the announcement.
The Northern Trust Special Purpose Collective Trust funds will track the return and risk characteristics of major stock and bond indexes while screening out investments in companies that operate in Sudan. NTGI said it will rely on an independent research firm to identify companies doing business in Sudan, and has completed extensive due-diligence on the resources of the data sources and methodologies of firms offering this information.
NTGI will construct portfolios that will minimize the tracking variance caused by the elimination of the divested stocks in “Sudan-free” versions of the following indices:
- Standard & Poor’s 500 Index
- Standard & Poor’s Growth Index
- Standard & Poor’s Midcap 400 Index
- Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Index
- Dow Jones Wilshire 4500 Index
- MSCI EAFE (Europe Australasia and Far East) Index
- Lehman Aggregate Bond Index
In addition, Northern Trust will set minimum targets for minority- and women-owned brokerage firms for these funds.
The funds were created to meet the requirements of an Illinois law, passed earlier this year, which orders state public pension funds to divest by July 26, 2007 investment holdings of companies that do business in Sudan (See Illinois Measure Bars Sudan Investments ). Similar laws have been passed in New Jersey (See New Jersey Assembly Bans State Investment in Sudan)and Oregon, and others have been proposed for Indiana, Connecticut, Missouri, New York, Ohio and California, NTGI noted in the announcement.
More information about NTGI is at www.northerntrust.com .