CHICAGO, Nov. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc. (CBIS), a leading Catholic, socially responsible investment management firm and Registered Investment Advisor to Catholic investors around the world, today endorsed the updated “SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT GUIDELINES” just approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
The Conference, which reaffirmed its strategy to restrict investments in companies whose activities contradict values of Catholic moral teaching, also extended the USCCB commitment to “Actively Work for Change” as an investor.
The active engagement strategy will make best use of the Conference’s position as a shareholder and part owner to influence a company’s business policies and practices. The USCCB will engage companies through dialogue with management, voting at corporate meetings, and support of resolutions.
According to Jeff McCroy, President and CEO of CBIS, the updated USCCB Guidelines align closely with his firm’s Catholic Responsible InvestmentsSM strategy.
“We have long believed that shareholder engagement is the most effective way to raise awareness and change perceptions in the management suites and boardrooms of national and multinational companies,” says McCroy. “We couldn’t be more pleased to see the Conference again reinforce a similar approach to issues related to human dignity, economic justice, and environmental stewardship.”
While the Guidelines are intended for USCCB’s investments and other activities related to corporate responsibility, they serve as an inspiration that informs the investment decisions of many Catholic dioceses, colleges, and Church organizations.
Notably, the updated 2021 Guidance, in addition to its emphasis on shareholder engagement, includes expansions on environmental issues within a revised major category titled “Saving Our Global Common Home.”
“For 30 years, CBIS has engaged companies on ecological matters across multiple sectors of the economy,” says John Geissinger, CBIS’ Chief Investment Officer. “Today’s ongoing efforts include addressing climate change, sustainable land use and biodiversity preservation, and the stewardship of water. We’re dealing with our portfolio companies, of course, but we’re also engaging industry leaders that can impact transformative change throughout the entire space.”
The major category of policies on environmental issues is embraced within the Guidelines as integrally connected with other areas on Protecting Human Life, Promoting Human Dignity, Enhance the Common Good, and Pursuing Economic Justice.
Also of note, the updated Guidelines introduced more than a dozen new policy areas, including Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, Human Trafficking and Forced Labor, Media and Telecommunications, Impact Investing, Water and Natural Resources, and Climate Change.
“We simply cannot praise the Conference enough for the remarkable work it has done here with the Guidelines,” says McCroy. “We’re eager to thoroughly analyze the Guidance’s robust list of specific policies, particularly as they pertain to our own investment portfolios and active ownership priorities.”
In carrying out its investment strategies, the USCCB will review the Guidelines’ relevance every three years and provide updates as needed. During this process, the USCCB may request that its investment advisors report on how they implement the Guidelines.
About Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS)
CBIS is an SEC-registered investment advisory firm amplifying the power of Catholic investors to transform the world. Responsible for more than $10 billion in assets under management, CBIS works with Catholic investors to develop socially responsible investment strategies and solutions that uphold Catholic beliefs and values without sacrificing returns for investors, often taking an engaged ownership role to command change in its investments. Founded in 1981 by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, CBIS engages third-party institutional investment firms to actively sub-advise its portfolios. Headquartered in Chicago, CBIS has offices in New York, Rome, and Madrid. For more information, visit cbisonline.com, or call 877-550-2247.