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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, "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 retirement plans.

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 investors."

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.


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