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BOSTON, MA // September 29, 2016 – A group of investors has released a new white paper, Investing in Equality: Integrating LGBT Issues into Total Portfolio Activation. The paper was prepared by Croatan Institute with the guidance of the Social Justice Fund Northwest, Out Leadership, and Trillium Asset Management. Microsoft Corporation is profiled for its history of leadership in advancing LGBT rights.

The paper provides a framework to help impact investors expand the scope of investing in LGBT issues across asset classes. It is the first effort to structure a total portfolio approach thematically around LGBT equality.
Research by Credit Suisse has shown that investing in businesses that proactively provide LGBT-friendly work environments does not result in a sacrifice in investment returns.1 As studies begin to make a strong case for investing in LGBT equality, impact investors are beginning to think holistically about their entire diversified investment portfolios. By using the Total Portfolio Activation framework, investors can identify opportunities to integrate LGBT issues across the full spectrum of asset classes.

“This paper highlights both current opportunities to invest in LGBT issues and gaps where new innovations are primed to emerge,” said Kristin Lang, Associate at Croatan Institute. “We hope that investors and foundations alike can use the Total Portfolio Activation framework as a blueprint for crafting their own investment strategies that positively impact the LGBT community.”

“We know that integrating LGBT issues into investment decisions generates positive social impacts with growing evidence of positive impact on financial returns”, said Matt Patsky, CEO of Trillium Asset Management. “The Total Portfolio Activation framework allows investors to expand their scope of impact and support LGBT equality across numerous asset classes.”

“LGBT inclusion helps build business, which is why businesses have been so far ahead of the curve when it comes to including LGBT people”, said Todd Sears, Founder and Principal of Out Leadership. “Companies that adopt inclusive policies for their LGBT employees outperform the market - in part because the most talented people seek out diverse work environments, and because companies where diverse perspectives are welcome are more innovative."
“Microsoft has long been committed to constructive dialogue with our shareholders and was an early leader in implementing inclusive policies around issues of concern to the LGBT community”, said Dan Bross, Senior Director of Business and Corporate Responsibility at Microsoft.

“As a philanthropic foundation, we have a responsibility to align our investments with our values. Filing shareholder resolutions that support the causes and principles of our grantees allows us to leverage our resources to create lasting change. We hope to join with other institutional investors who are looking to take the first step”, says Mijo Lee, Executive Director of the Social Justice Fund Northwest.

For more information: Kristin Lang, Croatan Institute, kristin [at] croataninstitute.org.

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Croatan Institute is an independent nonprofit research institute, working at the critical nexus where finance, environmental sustainability, and social equity intersect. Based in the Research Triangle of North Carolina with an extended team of affiliates in Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Geneva, the Institute provides rigorous research and analysis to support strategic decision-making by organizations and practitioners in the field. To learn more, please visit www.croataninstitute.org.

Microsoft Corporation is a technology software company based in Redmond, Washington that develops, licenses, and supports a range of software products, services and devices. To learn more, please visit www.microsoft.com.

Out Leadership is a global LGBT business advisory organization that partners with the world’s most influential companies to build business opportunities, cultivate talent, and drive LGBT equality forward. To learn more, please visit www.outleadership.com.

Social Justice Fund Northwest is a member-funded foundation focused on progressive social change. The foundation works to foster significant, long-term social justice solutions throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. To learn more, please visit www.socialjusticefund.org.

Founded in 1982, Trillium Asset Management is the oldest independent investment advisor focused exclusively on sustainable and responsible investing. Trillium manages assets for clients including individuals, foundations, endowments, religious institutions, and other non-profits. To learn more, please visit www.trilliuminvest.com.
The information provided is not a recommendation to buy or sell the securities mentioned. The securities were selected on an objective basis for illustrative purposes and do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold or recommended. It should not be assumed that investments in the securities has been or will be profitable.

NYC Comptroller, Trillium Asset Management, and Croatan Institute organize investors calling for a full repeal of the state’s anti-LGBT law

SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 // RALEIGH, NC: In a statement organized by Trillium Asset Management, Croatan Institute and the New York City Comptroller, investors representing $2.1 Trillion in collective assets under management are calling for a full repeal of North Carolina’s notorious House Bill 2. The bill overturns municipal non-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and prohibits transgender people from using restrooms consistent with their gender identity. Not only does the bill invalidate the human rights of individuals across the state, but it also has troubling financial implications for the investment climate in North Carolina.
 
The signatories, representing a wide swath of the investor community, believe that equality is fundamental to a successful workplace and community. As long-term investors in companies doing business in North Carolina, the signatories are concerned that HB2 is making it difficult for portfolio companies to provide the safe, open, and inclusive environment necessary for a successful workplace. According to Out Leadership and the Williams Institute, more than $40 million in business investment had already been withdrawn from the state by May, and far more is at risk in future private equity deals and municipal bond issuance.
 
“As long-term investors, we can’t sit idly by as HB2 undermines fundamental human rights at our expense,” New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said. “For the last 25 years, New York City’s pension funds have pushed more than 100 companies to enact non-discrimination policies that protect LGBTQ individuals and ensure they attract, retain, and promote the best and the brightest.  These policies are essential if we want companies – and our economy – to succeed, and we can’t let a hate-filled law get in the way.”

Nearly 93 percent of the Fortune 500 have adopted inclusiveng their employees on the basis of sexual  Research has shown that LGBT-supportive policies lead to positive business outcomes, lower staff turnover, and increased job satisfaction. Just this year, a Credit Suisse report found that companies with strong policies on LGBT protections financially outperform those that do not.

“North the state. HB2 must be repealed immediately before this damage becomes irreversible,” He continued, “There’s no question whatsoever that corporate and public policies that celebrate and strengthen diversity and inclusivity of all people are good for society and good for business.”

HB2 has received extraordinary public condemnation and has led to federal civil rights lawsuits, travel bans by dozens of state and local governments, and opposition from hundreds of companies. Internationally, the United Kingdom issued a travel advisory directed at their LGBT citizens visiting North Carolina while the European Union criticized HB2 as a contravention of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

"Simply put, House Bill 2 is making it harder to finance businesses and get deals done in North Carolina," stated Dr. Joshua Humphreys, president and senior fellow of Croatan Institute. "This diverse group of investors has therefore come together to call for a full repeal of HB2 -- before the investment climate in our state deteriorates further."
 
“States and countries can either have modern economies driven by knowledge industries like technology, financial services, and pharmaceuticals, or they can discriminate against LGBT people,” said Todd Sears, Founder and Principal of Out Leadership. “North Carolina can’t have it both ways.”

As investors in companies that employ thousands of people across the state, the signatories to this statement are united in calling for a full repeal of HB2. By taking this positive step, North Carolina would assert itself as an inclusive and competitive place for businesses and investors alike.  


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Trillium Asset Management is an investment management firm with over $2 billion in assets under management. Trillium integrates Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into the investment process as a way to seek to identify companies better positioned to deliver strong, long-term performance. Trillium has a long history of managing equity and fixed income portfolios for individuals, foundations, endowments, religious organizations, and other non-profits. A leader in shareholder advocacy and public policy work, Trillium leverages the power of stock ownership to promote social and environmental change while providing both impact and performance to our investors.

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer serves as the investment advisor to, and custodian and a trustee of, the New York City Pension Funds. The New York City Pension Funds are composed of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, Teachers’ Retirement System, New York City Police Pension Fund, New York City Fire Department Pension Fund and the Board of Education Retirement System. As of May 31, 2016, the Pension Funds’ total valuation was $163 billion.

Croatan Institute is an independent nonprofit research institute, working at the critical nexus where finance, environmental sustainability, and social equity intersect. Based in the Research Triangle of North Carolina with an extended team of affiliates in Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Geneva, the Institute provides rigorous research and analysis to support strategic decision-making by organizations and practitioners in the field.


Contact:           

Croatan Institute – Joshua Humphreys, President, josh [at] croataninstitute.org; (919) 448-4462

NYC Comptroller – Tyrone Stevens, Tsteven [at] comptroller.nyc.gov; (212) 669-4328

Trillium Asset Management – Caroline White, Cwhite [at] trilliuminvest.com; (617) 532-6655

http://www.trilliuminvest.com/investors-worth-2-1-trillion-call-full-repeal-north-carolinas-house-bill-2/
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