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Key Takeaways & Insights

Whether it’s corporate accountability, social justice, or climate change, a growing number of investors are seeking ways to align their values with their investments. In this report we not only explore the current state of socially responsible investing (SRI) across individuals and family offices, institutional retirement plans, and nonprofit organizations, but we also lay out specific action items to start you down the path:

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  • The “performance gap” that plagued SRI for decades no longer exists; modern sustainable investment returns are comparable to if not better than ex-sustainable returns.
  • Determine the right approach to your situation since there are many different investment strategies that fall under the SRI umbrella..
  • Seek objective investment advice from a financial professional who can help you create and execute on your SRI strategy.

People are using their voices – and their investments – to advocate for change.

Heightened social awareness. Demand for greater corporate accountability. Increasing climate change awareness. This, combined with powerful advanced screening tools and resources, is fueling explosive growth in SRI. And it’s not just younger investors leading the charge. Individuals, family offices, retirement plan participants and nonprofit boards are all seeking ways to make an impact with their investment dollars.

The question is how? How do you blend the desire to both accomplish your financial goals and create the changes you want to see in the world?

As with most financial decisions, there is no cookie-cutter answer. It depends on your unique circumstances. This paper explores how you can incorporate SRI into your personal investment strategy or retirement plan investment lineup to drive better outcomes. Specifically, we cover:

  1. Overview of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) SRI US SIF
      1. The Universe of SRI
      2. Debunking the Performance Myth
      3. Screening Potential Investments
      4. Six Principles for Responsible Investment
      5. Measuring Impact
  1. SRI Considerations for Individual Investors and Family Offices
      1. What’s Your Vision?
      2. How Much Do You Want to Allocate to SRI?
      3. What are the Investment Ground Rules?
      4. How Will You Execute Your Investment Strategy?
      5. How Often Will You Review Investments?
  2. The Role of SRI in Defined Contribution Investment Lineups
      1. Flip-Flopping Department of Labor Guidance
      2. No Reason to Wait
      3. Building Good Will
  3. SRI and Your Nonprofit’s Mission
      1. Pairing Your Mission and Investments
      2. Executing Your Investment Strategy
      3. Advocating Change Through SRI
  4. Cerity Partners’ Approach to SRI
      1. Impactful Investing for Your Future and for Society

More than ever, you can do well and do good at the same time. To understand how, review the action items in our full guide, or contact a Cerity Partners advisor to discuss your personal situation.

 


Cerity Partners LLC (“Cerity Partners”) is an SEC-registered investment adviser with offices in California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Texas. Registration of an Investment Advisor does not imply any level of skill or training. The foregoing is limited to general information about Cerity Partners’ services, which may not be suitable for everyone. You should not construe the information contained herein as personalized investment, tax, or legal advice. There is no guarantee that the views and opinions expressed in this brochure will come to pass. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your finances or your company’s finances, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. The information presented is subject to change without notice and is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed. For information pertaining to the registration status of Cerity Partners, please contact us or refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website (www.adviserinfo.sec.gov). For additional information about Cerity Partners, including fees and services, send for our disclosure statement as set forth on Form CRS and ADV Part 2 using the contact information herein. Please read the disclosure statement carefully before you invest or send money.


Meet the Author

Matt Gnabasik

Partner

Matt is a Partner in the Chicago office. He is a well-known speaker, author and innovator in the retirement plan industry with more than 28 years of experience. Matt specializes in simplifying complex retirement issues for his plan sponsor clients by utilizing his deep experience to drive better outcomes for participants and reduced liability for plan sponsors. His areas of expertise include strategic plan design, fiduciary best practices, employee financial wellness, investment menu design, fee analysis and negotiation and multinational savings plans.

Prior to joining Cerity Partners, he founded Blue Prairie Group, a leading ERISA-focused RIA firm serving hundreds of corporate, not-for-profit and government clients throughout the country. He is the author of two books on retirement plans: 401(k) Best Practices: A Guidebook for Plan Sponsors (2020) and Smart Choices: Selecting and Administering a Safe 401(k) Plan (2002.)

Matt holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management.

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Steve Kurosko

Partner

Steve is a Partner and Market Leader for the Florida Region and has over twenty years of experience in the financial services industry. He is responsible for implementing portfolio investment strategies and asset allocation for high net worth and institutional clients. He is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee and the Manager Selection Sub-Committee and oversees the firm’s Responsible Investing Platform.

Prior to joining Cerity Partners, Steve was a Director in Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management’s New York office. He was responsible for asset allocation and manager review for investment assets in client portfolios. He was also a member of the bank’s Investment Advisory and Trust review committees and served as the program manager for PWM’s Socially Responsible Investing platform.

Steve earned his Bachelor of Arts in economics from Columbia University and holds the Chartered Socially Responsible Investment Counselor designation.

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