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Calvert Sets Up Academic Partnership Program for SRI

The Eaton Vance subsidiary has also launched seven new SRI-themed funds for institutional and individual investors

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Calvert Sets Up Academic Partnership Program for SRI

Eaton Vance subsidiary Calvert Research and Management has launched its own institute to partner with academic organizations on socially responsible investing (SRI) issues.

The Calvert Institute for Responsible Investing was “dedicated to driving positive change by advancing understanding and promoting best practices in responsible investing”, Calvert said in a press release.

Anne Matusewicz, a director at the Calvert Institute, said: “We want to help investors understand the role they can play in promoting positive change.

“Examining race and injustice, climate change and other critical issues will allow us to amplify voices that challenge the status quo based on research results and educate individuals and institutions at various stages of their responsible investment journey.”

John Streur, president and CEO of Calvert, added: “For many years, Calvert has been a global leader in responsible investing and a catalyst for positive change through our research and engagement efforts.

“By creating the Calvert Institute, we broaden the scope of our mission and programs in support of responsible investors and society as a whole.”

The Calvert Institute aimed to partner with academic groups, industry bodies and investors to “create and sponsor third-party research” into SRI themes and issues, it said. This was on top of its existing program of internal research and education projects.

On its website, the institute said it had already partnered with a number of unnamed organizations including “disruptive academics” and “co-aligned, innovative investors pushing for positive change”.

Earlier in June, Calvert Research and Management launched a range of new funds investing in companies with “leading environmental, social and governance (ESG) characteristics” as determined by the manager’s own models.

The ESG Leaders range of equity funds includes US, global ex-US, developed markets and emerging markets products, as well as tax-managed versions of the US, global and developed markets portfolios. The funds are run by portfolio managers Jade Huang and Chris Madden.

The Washington-headquartered asset manager said the strategies would use corporate engagement to “strengthen how portfolio companies manage material environmental and social exposures and governance processes and to enhance investment returns”.

Streur said the company’s proprietary research capability could identify companies managing “financially material ESG risks” well.

“Financial materiality is a critical component of ESG analysis,” he added. “We believe understanding the connection between sustainability factors and business success sets these companies apart and positions them to maneuver efficiently and effectively in an evolving world.”

Calvert manages $21.3 billion across equity, bond and multi-asset funds as of April 30, 2020.

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