Wells Unveils SRI Fund

September 24, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Wells Fargo & Co. has launched the new Wells Fargo Advantage Social Sustainability Fund.

A Wells Fargo news release said the new offering will invest in stocks of approximately 30 to 50 large cap companies. The management team’s process begins by establishing fundamental valuations for strong businesses and then identifies those companies whose stock prices are at a discount to that level, the company said.

The company said managers then apply (socially responsive investing) SRI screens to complete the portfolio construction. The managers will use an inclusive screening process to invest in companies that have positive traits related to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors and will avoid stocks—such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling, or weapons manufacturing companies—based on traditional socially responsible investing (SRI) screens.

According to the company, the fund will be subadvised by Nelson Capital Management, an investment management firm based in Palo Alto, California, that has specialized capabilities in socially responsible investing.

Among the investment professionals managing the fund are Scott Benner, managing principal. Nelson Capital is a division of Wells Fargo Private Investment Advisors LLC.

“More and more, investors are looking for options that allow them to put their money to work in a manner consistent with their values,” said Andrew Owen, executive vice president of Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC, in the news release. “With our Social Sustainability Fund, clients are now able to access veteran institutional managers who are recognized experts in the SRI category.”