After three years, Shelly J. Meyers has proved it's possible to do more than just good with a socially conscious mutual fund: Her performance has been great.
The two fundamental objectives of the $5 million Meyers Pride Value Fund require Ms. Meyers to invest in value stocks of companies with stated policies against discrimination based on sexual orientation in hiring and promotion.
Ms. Meyers, president of Meyers Capital Management LLC, Beverly Hills, Calif., is foremost an institutional investment manager. She is also an alumna of The Boston Co.
As a long-term value investor, Ms. Meyers says she looks carefully at company management and culture. "Those (companies) with supportive policies are at the vanguard of an open work place. ... Those companies that have a handle on how to manage and retain their human capital over the long-term will be better performers. It's representative of management teams that know their business very well," she said.
Of the 450 stocks in the screened universe, the 40 to 45 companies Ms. Meyers picked have done well enough that the fund returned 13.8% in 1998, making it the 10th best midcap equity fund last year, according to Morningstar Inc. And the $17 million in separate accounts Ms. Meyers manages for institutional investors using the same style averaged a whopping 27% return in 1998. Both returns are even more impressive, given the hostile climate for value last year. The mutual fund's year-to-date performance as of June 25 was close to 16%. Now that the portfolios have been around for three years, Meyers Capital will aim its first big marketing push at defined benefit and defined contribution plans, endowments and foundations.