Catholic Investing

Investing with Purpose – The Northern Michigan Catholic Foundation (NMCF) is committed to investing funds through socially responsible avenues, consistent with the values of our Catholic faith.

NMCF partners with CAPTRUST to manage all investments. CAPTRUST utilizes the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) guidelines in the development of our exclusion list.

For the Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) National Catholic Investment Pool (NCIP) we have developed a customized strategy. CAPTRUST’s customized strategy approach allows for an “open architecture” implementation process meaning that we are not constrained to utilizing a limited set of investment managers which ascribe to adhering to Catholic Values. Our process permits us to utilize a wide landscape of investment managers (fixed income, equity and alternatives) incorporating both active and index solutions.  CAPTRUST partners with IW Financial, a leading provider of environmental, social, and governance research and analytics to institutional investors and asset managers. IW Financial researches more than 1,000 discrete data elements across a global universe of companies.

CAPTRUST has worked with IW Financial to develop screening criteria across the following areas:

  • Abortion & Abortifacients
  • Adult Entertainment
  • Contraceptives
  • Discrimination
  • Environmental
  • Fair Lending
  • Gambling*
  • Landmines
  • Nuclear Weapons
  • Predatory Lending*
  • Stem Cells (Embryonic)
  • Tobacco*
    * Screening area not referenced in USCCB guidelines

Many of the issues covered involve multiple data points that are evaluated based on the USCCB SRI guidelines and interpretations are developed into specific quantifiable criteria exclusively for the benefit of CAPTRUST’s clients. CAPTRUST clients may also access additional criteria outside the scope of the USCCB guidelines including tobacco, gambling, and predatory lending.

Three fundamental approaches are used to collect the necessary information to determine if a company is in violation of one of the above mentioned screens.

Issue Centric – Researchers are assigned responsibility for each issue specific research area and issues are monitored for new entrants, departures, and material shifts.

Company Centric – This approach is used when it is reasonable to assume that every company in the research universe has relevant data on a given topic. The company centric research approach is used to provide consistent data on each company covered and updates are based upon the timing of each company’s regulatory filings.

Data Source Centric – Areas covered in this way include environmental from government databases. For data source specific research, which often contains multiple records of specific data associated with a given company, the process is to attribute all of the records in the data set to their ultimate parent company of responsibility. In this way, the data can be aggregated to create a picture of a company’s involvement in a particular issue area.

The final result of this process is a list of securities (domestic and international) that can be furnished to each investment manager which informs them as to which securities (equity and fixed income) they are prohibited from buying. The list of restricted securities is updated quarterly for the portfolio.

CAPTRUST also collaborates with a client advisory committee that is made up of a team of Archdiocese CFO’s. This group serves in an advisory capacity, meeting on a quarterly basis, and is responsible for a high level review of the quarterly Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) list as it relates to the criteria based on the USCCB guidelines.