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November 13, 2007
Growing Up Green: Winslow Offers New Mid-Cap Green Mutual Fund
    by Anne Moore Odell

As the green market place expands, Winslow launches a mutual fund to capitalize on middle-sized growth companies that offer green solutions.


When Winslow Management Company started the Winslow Green Growth Fund in 1994, it was one of the first financial advisors to offer investors a fund focusing on small-cap green companies. This month, Winslow launched a second green fund, the Winslow Green Solutions Fund, investing in mid-cap domestic and international companies that pass Winslow's green screens.

The number of mid-sized green growth companies with market capitalization between $1 billion and $10 billion is growing by leaps and bounds as investors, consumers and other stakeholders are demanding greener products and processes.

"The launch of the Winslow Green Solutions Fund represents, among other things, the evolution of green markets over time," said Jack Robinson, President of Winslow Management Company. "Once green markets were entirely populated by small start-up companies, but many leading green companies in these markets are now succeeding and have grown significantly. A small-company investment strategy can no longer capture the full range of growth opportunities."

Besides the growing market share of green companies, Winslow was eager to launch a new fund at this time as their core product, the Winslow Green Growth Fund, is reaching its maximum capacity of $500 million and Winslow wanted to have another product up and running to offer investors.

Matthew Patsky, the lead Portfolio Manager for the new Fund, told SocialFunds.com that when Winslow first started a "green" fund, they had to explain what "green" meant. Now, more and more investors are looking to make sure their investments not only don't hurt the environment, but actually have a positive impact on the earth.

All companies held in the Green Solutions portfolio have their primary revenue from products and services that "reduce resource consumption; decrease pollution such as climate-changing greenhouse gases, or contribute to natural and sustainable nutrition and health."

This dedication to only including green companies in their new Fund is another example of how the green marketplace has grown. When they first started the Green Growth Fund, Winslow's managers needed to look at both green and "clean" companies.

Green companies could include Clean Energy, Water Management, Resource Efficiency, Sustainable Living, Environmental Services, Green Transport, and Green Building.

Winslow is well aware of the new drive for companies to airbrush themselves and their products "green" without any real action to actually protect the environment. Winslow plans to use its experience with its other environmentally screened funds to carefully choose companies who are truly working to a greener future.

"Five years ago this wasn't an issue, companies and funds calling themselves green," Patsky said. "Now everyone has jumped on the green bandwagon, companies who have nothing to do with being green. "

Patsky suggested investors look past the media hype around a fund, to make sure they understand the history of the firm and its managers to see if the fund matches with investors' goals.

The Russell Mid-cap Growth Index will serve as the benchmark for the Green Solutions Fund. Up to half of the Fund might be invested in companies outside of the US, allowing the managers to chose the best green companies in every sector, and opening up the portfolio's universe.

As a growth fund, the Green Solutions' portfolio managers, Patsky and Jackson Robinson, will look to buy stocks that are well priced with the potential for growth.

The new Fund will mirror a similar strategy employed in a fund offered by Winslow to institutional investors since October 2003, also managed by Patsky. The institutional fund will, in part, roll over into the Winslow Green Solutions Fund.

Although, Patsky couldn't legally release the companies held in the new portfolio until the end of the first quarter, he was able to pinpoint some of the companies he considers "green leaders" held in the similar institutional portfolio.

Patsky highlighted First Solar (ticker: FSLR) in the solar sector as a true leader. With head offices in Phoenix, AZ, First Solar has seen its revenues double over the course of a quarter. It builds solar cells at a very low cost, using cadmium and tellurium in their semiconductors with the cadmium derived from zinc smelting waste.

"EnerNOC" (ticker: ENOC) is another stock held by the institutional fund that Patsky identified as a sector leader. The Boston-based company works with energy suppliers, and institutional and commercial energy users to lessen energy usage during peak demand times.

Individuals can invest with a minimum investment of $2,500 in the Winslow Green Solutions Fund. IRA investor shares are $2,000 and available with a monthly investment plan starting at $1,000. The Fund can be purchased directly from Winslow or through brokerage platforms.

Headquartered in Boston, MA, Winslow Management concentrates first and foremost in green investing. Currently, it has more than $500 million in assets under management. Started in 1983 by Robinson, Winslow has been offering investors environmental sound investments for almost 25 years.

 

 
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