October 11, 2008
Wells Fargo Launches Its First Sustainability Fund
by Robert Kropp
New mutual fund from Wells Fargo invests in large cap companies that meet SRI screening criteria.
Wells Fargo Funds Management has added another mutual fund to the 125 in the lineup of its Wells Fargo Advantage Funds.
The Wells Fargo Advantage Social Sustainability Fund will be subadvised by Nelson Capital Management, an investment management firm
with extensive experience in socially responsible investing.
The fund managers will
consider both fundamental and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in making their
investment decisions. The Social Sustainability Fund will invest in the stocks of 30 to 50 large
cap companies that demonstrate fundamental valuations for strong businesses and whose stock prices
are at a discount.
The fund managers will employ environmental, social, and governance
(ESG) factors in making their investment decisions. Generally, ESG screening criteria require
accountability for business activities that impact the public and stakeholder interests. The
criteria typically include impact on the environment, relations with employees and other
stakeholders, and corporate governance.
Finally, negative screening based on sustainable
and responsible investing (SRI) principles will be applied in order to exclude companies whose
products and business practices are harmful to individuals, communities, or the environment.
The Social Sustainability Fund managers believe that their selection process will lead to
investment in best-of-class companies that are not only leaders in their industries but meet
positive standards of corporate responsibility, as well.