Socially responsible investment (SRI) assets grew faster than the entire universe of managed assets in the United States during the last ten years, according to the Social Investment Forum's fifth biennial report on SRI trends. Total SRI assets rose more than 258 percent from $639 billion in 1995 to $2.29 trillion in 2005, while the broader universe of assets under professional management increased less than 249 percent from $7 trillion to $24.4 trillion over the same period. The Social Investment Forum (www.socialinvest.org) is the national trade association for the social investment industry.
According to the Forum report, the $2.29 trillion in total assets under management using one or more of the three core SRI strategies—screening, shareholder advocacy, and community investing—is up from a total of $2.16 trillion in 2003. Among the signs of an ongoing growth from 2003 to 2005 in socially responsible investing, (1) an 18.5 percent increase in assets invested in SRI mutual funds; (2) a 16 percent jump in social and corporate governance shareholder resolutions (and significantly higher levels of support for such proxy measures); and (3) a 40 percent boost in funds invested in community investing.
Other highlights of the report included the following:
- Nearly one out of every ten dollars under professional management in the United States today is involved in socially responsible investing. The $2.29 trillion in SRI identified in 2005 reflects 9.4 percent of the $24.4 trillion in total assets under professional management tracked in Nelson Information's Directory of Investment Managers.
- Assets in socially screened mutual funds and other pooled products rose to $179 billion in 2005, an 18.5 percent increase over the $151 billion tracked in 2003. Over the same period, the number of mutual funds and pooled products tracked edged up from 200 to 201. In 1995, $12 billion in assets were found in socially screened funds.
- Socially and environmentally screened mutual funds have experienced substantial growth in the number and diversity of products and screens offered.
- With more than $1.5 trillion in assets, socially screened separate accounts managed for individual and institutional clients constituted the bulk of SRI assets tracked in 2005, including $17.3 billion managed for individual clients and another $1.49 trillion under management in institutional client accounts. SRI separate account assets have increased tenfold from the $150 billion identified in 1995.
- Shareholder resolutions on social and environmental issues increased more than 16 percent from 299 proposals in 2003 to 348 in 2005. Social resolutions reaching a vote rose more than 22 percent, from 145 in 2003 to 177 in 2005. Institutional investors that filed or co-filed resolutions on social or environmental issues controlled $703 billion in assets in 2005, a 57-percent rise over the $448 billion in assets counted in 2003.
- Assets in community investing institutions rose 40 percent from
$14 billion in 2003 to $20 billion in 2005. Community investing
assets have nearly quintupled from the $4 billion identified a