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Calvert Investments, Inc., established in 1976, is an investment management company that is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland and led by John Streur, the firm’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Calvert is one of the largest responsible investment companies in the United States.
To guide its mission of stewarding capital responsibly, Calvert seeks to deliver on what it calls the four pillars of responsible investing. These pillars are financial performance, superior research, shareholder engagement and inclusive prosperity and impact. Financial performance refers to Calvert’s paramount fiduciary responsibility to the investor to achieve the right risk and return profile for the asset class and style of investment. Superior research means gaining a comprehensive understanding of the impact an investment could have on society both positive and negative in order to generate investment returns and avoid risks. Shareholder engagement speaks to Calvert’s commitment to actively engage with companies on behalf of their investors with a focus on environmental, social and governance issues. Finally, inclusive prosperity and impact means recognizing that the original and primary purpose of capitalism was to address problems in society. With this in mind, Calvert works to execute specific investments intended to directly address key problems such as widespread poverty and sub-standard living conditions worldwide.
Calvert offers both active and passive investment strategies across a range of equity, fixed income, multi-asset and global investment products, all of which feature integrated environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) research. Calvert manages the investments of a variety of clients who include institutions, financial advisors, retirement advisors and individuals. Calvert has a long-standing commitment to shareholder advocacy, proxy voting and investing in communities.
In addition to Calvert’s investment products and services, several notable milestones have kept Calvert at the forefront of the responsible investing field:
- 1976: Calvert launched the first variable rate fund in the US before later introducing the Calvert Social Investment Fund (CSIF) in 1982.
- 1982: the Calvert Social Investment Fund (CSIF) was the first mutual fund to oppose Apartheid, and then one of the first groups to reinvest in free South Africa in 1994.
- 1986: Calvert became one of the first mutual fund groups to sponsor a shareholder resolution. Calvert filed with the Angelica Corporation, identifying potential financial impact of labor management issue.
- 1988: Calvert Investments founded the Calvert Foundation, a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit. The goal of the foundation is to invest directly in underserved communities.
- 1992: Calvert launched World Values Fund (today called the Calvert International Equity Fund) the first International SRI mutual fund.
- 1992: Calvert started a Special Equities Program for high impact social ventures. At the time, this program was one of the first of its kind in the responsible investing field.
- 1998: Calvert pursued an advisory opinion from the U.S. Department of Labor in support of the inclusion of sustainable and responsible investment options in defined contribution plans. In a letter to Calvert, the Department of Labor stated that it believes sustainable and responsible investment options are not inconsistent with fiduciary standards.
- 2000: Calvert introduced The Calvert Social Index (renamed Calvert US Large Cap Core Responsible Index in June 2015) which is an unmanaged index that measures the performance of large, U.S.-based sustainable and responsible companies.
- 2004: Calvert, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Fund for Women, developed the first global voluntary code of conduct guiding business on how to empower, advance, and invest in women worldwide. The Calvert Women’s Principles were designed to provide companies with specific, measurable goals for achieving gender equity in areas such as hiring, pay and career development as well as representation of women in their management ranks on their boards. Later, in 2010, the UN chose to adapt Calvert Women’s Principles® to create their own Women’s Empowerment Principles.
- 2007: Calvert began expanding the number of investment strategies offered that addressed global sustainability challenges through favorable investment opportunities . In 2007, Calvert created the Global Alternative Energy Fund, an actively managed SRI fund, renamed Calvert Global Energy Solutions Fund in 2015. The Global Water Fund followed in 2008, and in 2011, Calvert launched the Emerging Markets Equity Fund.
- 2013: Calvert expanded its fixed-income mutual funds with the launch of Calvert Green Bond Fund.
- 2014: John Streur was selected as Calvert’s next CEO.
- 2015: Calvert introduced the Responsible Index Series, a group of low-cost, efficient strategies designed to benefit from the impact that ESG factors can have on a company’s long-term financial stability and revenue.
- 2015: Calvert launched the Principles for Responsible Investment, which the firm uses to guide investment decisions, balancing a commitment to the needs of financial and nonfinancial stakeholders. Calvert’s passive indices include companies on the basis of these principles and the results of a comprehensive research system, while Calvert’s active investment strategies give priority to the principles as they seek superior risk adjusted financial returns relative to market benchmarks. In conjunction with the Principles for Responsible Investment, Calvert’s research system developed an innovative, new method by coupling increasingly available ESG data and classic financial analysis. The Calvert Research System allows the firm to quantitatively rate and rank companies both inside their respective industry and across the entire investment universe in absolute terms.
- 2017: Calvert Investment Management (CIM) was purchased by Eaton Vance Corporation and replaced with Calvert Research and Management (CRM).
Calvert Investments in the Community
Through the investment strategies Calvert offers, investors are able to combine financial impact with environmental and social impact. Today, Calvert Investments targets one-to-three percent of their participating portfolios’ assets to high impact investments directly in communities.
- Through the investment strategies Calvert offers, investors are able to combine financial impact with environmental and social impact. Today, Calvert Investments targets one-to-three percent of their participating portfolios’ assets to high impact investments directly in communities.
- Special Equities Program: The innovative program gives unique exposure to early-stage venture companies. The program was started in 1992 as a way to identify social entrepreneurs and provide financing needed to create larger social impact and financial return.
The Calvert Foundation
The Calvert Foundation was founded in 1988 and is a community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Though the Calvert Foundation has a close relationship with Calvert Investments, the Foundation is a legally separate organization with its own operations and mission. Today, the Calvert Foundation works in approximately 80 countries in varied sectors such as affordable housing development, microfinance, women’s empowerment, fair trade and sustainable agriculture.
The Calvert Foundation’s successes have included the introduction of the Community Investment Notes in 1995, which allows everyday investors to partake in the field of impact investing.
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