Shared Interest, a New York-based international socially responsible investment fund, recognized Prudential Financial Inc. and SRI firm Calvert Investments and it philanthropic entity, the Calvert Foundation, and for investments in South Africa. The firms were honored at Shared Interest's 17th Annual Awards Dinner on March 15.
Donna Katzin, executive director of Shared Interest, said in a telephone interview that Prudential's public investment units have more than $300 million invested in the country. Ms. Katzin noted that Prudential also has invested in economically depressed communities in the U.S., showing that “low-income communities are good investment opportunities and business partners,” a message Shared Interest would like to convey about investing in small communities in South Africa.
She said Shared Interest singled out Calvert Investments because it sponsored the first mutual fund to divest from companies doing business in South Africa during apartheid. She noted that it was also among the first to reinvest in the South African mainstream economy following the end of apartheid.
She said the foundation was honored for investing in small communities and grass-roots organizations like Shared Interest.
“We are thrilled to recognize their extraordinary leadership, and their achievements in transforming the lives of South Africa's economically disenfranchised people,” Ms. Katzin said.