DALLAS — GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention is looking to tend to a larger flock of investors: church and other Christian organizations.
After serving Southern Baptists for more than 85 years, officials at GuideStone, formerly known as the Southern Baptist Convention Annuity Board, decided to provide retirement services to churches, hospitals, universities and other organizations that share its Christian principles. The firm provides socially oriented mutual funds mainly for 403(b) retirement plan investors, screening out companies connected with alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornography and abortion. The GuideStone moniker was adopted last summer, setting its mission into motion. Assets under management totaled $8.5 billion as of Sept. 30, up 16% from $7.3 billion in July 2004.
"We had effectively penetrated the Southern Baptist marketplace and wanted to extend our opportunity set … to maintain a viable asset base and participant base," said John Jones, Guidestone's chief operating officer.
The firm has attracted several new accounts this fall. Among GuideStone's new clients, Woodman Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs, Colo. hired the firm to manage a 403(b) plan. Woodman is moving approximately $800,000 in 401(k) plan assets previously managed by U.S. Bank, a unit of U.S. Bancorp, Minneapolis, to the 403(b). Woodman sought a manager with "working Christian worldview investing filters," and after considering five firms, decided GuideStone was best equipped to answer the call, said Mike Biedermann, pastor and director of finance, in an e-mail.
GuideStone Capital Management, a unit of GuideStone Financial Resources, oversees 14 mutual funds and three blended or "lifestyle funds" for defined contribution plans. Running those 17 funds are 34 subadvisers, including Pacific Investment Management Co., Newport Beach, Calif., and Capital Guardian Trust Co., Los Angeles.
GuideStone also is "exploring the opportunity" of putting its proprietary funds on other money managers' platforms, said Lon Johnson, spokesman.