PRESS RELEASE: HARVARD STUDENTS AND ALUMNI INVEST SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE FUND

HARVARD STUDENTS AND ALUMNI INVEST SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE FUND

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Contact: Krishna Dasaratha, dasaratha@college.harvard.edu, 703-589-8568

CAMBRIDGE, MA-The Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition announced Wednesday that it had invested contributions from 450 donors in a socially responsible fund withheld from Harvard University. The Fair Harvard Fund, designed as an alternative endowment fund, will be invested in the Portfolio 21 Global Equity Fund.

“We are choosing Portfolio 21 because the fund fits our rigorous investment policies and has a demonstrated record of solid returns,” said Harvard undergraduate and investment committee member Michael Danto. “We are particularly impressed by their holistic approach to balancing environmental and social concerns with financial results.”

The Fair Harvard Fund was invested through the Responsible Endowments Coalition as the first partnership of the Responsible College Fund, a vehicle through which students and alumni at schools across the nation can invest withheld funds. Federal Street Advisors, a Boston-based investment consultant with a distinguished record in sustainable investing, is providing pro bono services to the Fair Harvard Fund, including helping to create an Investment Policy Statement, providing advice on asset allocation, and aligning the Fund’s mission and investment goals to find the selected fund manager.

“We hope students and alumni at more schools follow in investing responsibly through the Responsible College Fund,” Responsible Endowments Coalition Executive Director Dan Apfel said. “Students and alumni will find ways to invest their money responsibly, whether colleges’ want to help or not.”

The Fair Harvard Fund was created to encourage Harvard to create a social choice fund as an option for alumni donors. The university announced the creation of a social fund in December, but the Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition is continuing to withhold the Fair Harvard Fund because Harvard administrators have not agreed to minimum standards for the social choice fund’s fiscal sustainability.

Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition member Nicole Granath said, “The university has given no indications they will assign an employee to fundraise for the social choice fund or actively solicit donations. Moreover, the university’s decision to spend 20% of the fund each year raises questions about their commitment to the social choice fund’s long term success.”

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