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January 23, 2016

Community Capital Management a Top Fund Performer in 2015
    by Robert Kropp

The fund tracker Morningstar ranks the performance of the firm's fixed income investment product among the top one percent of 309 funds in the intermediate government category. -- The CRA Qualified Investment Fund Institutional Shares (CRANX) offered by the Florida-based sustainable fixed income firm Community Capital Management (CCM) has been ranked by Morningstar as one of the top one percent of performers for 2015 in the intermediate government category of 309 funds.

CRANX, which invests in high credit quality fixed income securities whose proceeds are designed to positively impact communities throughout the US, “returned 2.01% for the year, outperforming the category's return of 0.49%,” CCM
reported in a recent press release. The fund also outperformed its benchmark, the Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index, the return on which was 0.55% in 2015.

“We are equally proud of the Fund's bespoke impact portfolio and community impact performance,” chief investment strategist and interim chief impact investment officer David Sand said, “having invested $512 million in 2015 and $5.8 billion since inception in bonds financing economic and environmentally sustainable initiatives.”

One example of the Fund's community investment orientation, the press release states, “is a taxable municipal bond purchased on behalf of The Cordes Foundation. Proceeds were used to acquire 187 dwelling units as part of the Seola Crossing rental housing component of the King County Housing Authority's Greenbridge HOPE VI Redevelopment Project to provide housing for low-income people in Seattle.”

“The Fund offers shareholders individual customization by investing back into their communities or in alignment with their mission while enjoying the liquidity of an open-end bond fund,” said Todd Cohen, chief executive officer and chief investment officer of CCM. “Its allocation to non-indexed government-related sectors of the bond market has enabled it to excel in risk-off years such as 2002, 2008, 2011 and 2015. With high yield and corporate bond spreads continuing to widen and weakness in the equity market persisting, we feel CRANX is positioned well as a defensive strategy looking ahead into 2016.”

The institutional share class “was launched in 2007 due to increased demand from non-financial institutions looking for a market-rate fixed income impact investing strategy,” CCM states.

The sustainable investment strategy of the CRA Fund consists of positive screening, and the Fund is fossil fuel free. The most recent account of its proxy voting record posted on CCM's website indicates that it supported shareowner resolutions addressing corporate political spending and lobbying expenditures at Pfizer and Time Warner, and voted with management against a proposal addressing climate change reporting at PNC Financial.

As of September 30, 2015,
CCM reported that it has invested nearly $7 billion in environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives:
$736 million in statewide homeownership and down payment assistance programs;
14,200 mortgages for low- and moderate-income borrowers;
$283 in job creation and small business development;
$354 million in economic development;
320,000 affordable rental housing units; and
$33 million in affordable healthcare facilities.

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