June 20, 2011
ING Retirement Plan Adds Sustainable Investment Option
by Robert Kropp
ING's US Retirement Services will offer Pax World's ESG Managers Portfolios series of funds to
participants in many of its defined contribution retirement plans.
Early in 2010, Pax World launched the ESG Managers Portfolios, a series of asset
allocation funds that provides investment advisors and their clients with portfolios featuring
investment managers that incorporate environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) factors
into their investment analysis and decision making.
Consisting of four funds,
ranging from conservative to aggressive growth, the ESG Managers Portfolios' asset allocation,
manager selection, and portfolio construction is provided by Morningstar Associates. Pax World serves as the
investment adviser to the funds.
At the time of the launch, Joe Keefe, President and CEO
of Pax World, told SocialFunds.com, "Our partnership with Morningstar underscores the mainstreaming
of ESG factors into investment analysis."
An example of mainstreaming was announced by ING, a
provider of retirement products and services. ING stated that its US Retirement Services business
will offer the ESG Managers Portfolios to participants in many of its defined contribution
Previously, the funds were available only through financial advisors.
With the addition of the Schroder Emerging
Market Equity Fund in May, the number of managers or subadvisers chosen by Morningstar
Associates to manage portions of the assets in the funds now totals 12.
ING stated that it
is "the first defined contribution provider to offer these funds to workplace retirement plan
Brian Comer of ING's US Retirement Services stated, "Our plan sponsors have
told us they want more socially responsible investment (SRI) choices for their employees. We're
making it easier to select a socially responsible investment while providing a multi-managed,
'fund-of-funds' approach to help diversify risk."
Keefe stated, "Today's investor
increasingly understands the connection between such things as good environmental management or
good corporate governance, on the one hand, and long term financial health, on the other." The ESG
Managers Portfolios "were designed to give investors broad exposure to…companies with sustainable
business models," he continued.