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August 15, 1999
Walden Launches Four New Funds
With the population of socially responsible mutual funds growing steadily, Walden joins in with
This summer Walden Asset Management, the socially responsible investment division of United States
Trust Company (USTC) of Boston, initiated four new mutual funds devoted to social as well as
financial goals. Together, these no-load funds manage more than 100 million U.S. dollars in assets,
and represent a strong entry into the field of socially responsible mutual funds.
The new funds include Walden/BBT Domestic Social Index Fund (WDSIX) and the Walden/BBT
International Social Index Fund (WISIX). These funds are intended to parallel the performance of
two other indexes, Standard & Poor's 500 index and Morgan Stanley International/Europe, Asia and
Far East Index, respectively, while adhering to social objectives.
"The Walden Domestic
Social Index Fund was conceived with an ambitious social change agenda at its core," says Geeta
Bhide Aiyer, founder and president of Walden Asset Management, which was recently acquired by USTC.
The domestic index fund addresses social questions primarily as an "activist fund," through proxy
voting, dialogue with companies, and filing shareholder resolutions on a range of issues. "We plan
to use the domestic index as a platform to advocate for actions that increase the respect shown by
companies for human dignity, social welfare, and our natural environment."
International Social Index Fund is the first-ever socially screened international index fund. It
exercises a smaller degree of shareholder advocacy in foreign companies, but also applies
exclusionary screens for social and environmental issues. "The fund is intended to track the
developed country markets in Europe, Australia, and the Far East," says Aiyer. "We believe it
offers social investors a unique opportunity to gain the benefits of international diversification
without compromising their social principles."
Walden's other two funds are Walden Social
Equity Fund (WSEFX) and Walden Social Balanced Fund (WSBFX), each investing in companies that are
above average in their industry for environmental performance and management, above average for
labor relations, equal employment, and community support, and adherent to fundamental human rights.
The Equity Fund seeks long-term capital growth through an actively managed portfolio of stocks,
while the Balanced Fund maintains a mixed portfolio of stocks, bonds, and money markets.
Walden's family of funds makes a strong contribution to the latest flurry of socially
responsible mutual funds. Walden draws from 25 years of experience in the socially responsible
investing field, and its parent company, USTC, manages approximately 3.7 billion U.S. dollars.
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