Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, Heerlen, Netherlands, plans to launch two 100 million euro ($90.6 million) portfolios that will invest in ethically screened companies in the United States and Europe. This will be the funds first attempt at ethical investing.
The two portfolios are test cases to see if socially responsible investing provides any financial gain beyond that of conventional equity investing, said René Maatman, chief counsel, legal and tax, at the 150 billion euro plan.
The portfolios will be launched mid-year and likely will be managed externally. The ABP board still has to decide on the benchmarks, but they will be major market indexes rather than socially responsible indexes, said Mr. Maatman. The money managers will decide in which sectors they plan to invest, and the individual firms will be chosen according to their adherence to ABPs socially responsible principles.
"The aim of the funds is to generate the best financial performance so we will not be making concessions as far as performance goes, added Mr. Maatman.
No decision has been made about managers.