Apartheid is dead, but social investing lives on, according to a study by the Social Investment Forum, Washington.
The study found $162 billion in U.S. assets is invested based on specific, written social investment screens. Of that amount, 30% comes from religious groups, 23% is from government pension funds, 23% is invested by other institutions and the rest comes from individuals.
Another $473 billion is controlled by investors that sponsor or vote for shareholder resolutions based on social criteria, according to the study.
Socially screened investing "is still a small part of most money managers' business," said Patrick McVeigh, an SIF board member and senior vice president of Franklin Research and Development, Boston. But, he added, the improved availability of social investment research has made it economical for managers to offer the service to clients that want it.
The forum found that, among institutional investors that screen their portfolios, sin and military stocks were the most widely avoided. Tobacco investing was banned in 86% of screened portfolios, followed by alcoholic beverage producers, 73%, and weapons manufacturers, 64%.
Also popular were screens on such issues as human rights, the environment, animal rights and employee relations.