The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation is announcing today that it is committing to implementing responsible investing practices across 100% of its endowment. These practices include a range of approaches—for example, targeted negative screens that remove specific industries from the portfolio; positive screens, through which portfolios are constructed with best-in-class companies; and shareholder engagement and activism on priority issues. The full responsible investment strategy will be developed over the coming months.
In recent years, there has been considerable discussion and activity on the broader topic of responsible investing, based on the belief that environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors affect shareholder value across industries and over time.
The integration of ESG considerations into the investment management practices of the endowment is not only prudent and important for long-term sustainability of capital assets, but also contributes to improving current economic and social systems at a scale that matters.
This new approach will allow the Foundation to better integrate the entirety of its financial assets — grants, impact investments, and traditional investments — to have a greater positive impact in society.
The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation became an impact investor in 2007. Impact investments seek to intentionally generate social and environmental returns alongside financial returns, and are on the proactive end of the broader spectrum known as responsible investing. The Foundation subsequently developed its practice to become what we call Solutions Finance, an integrated and proactive approach to deploying financial capital and adapting financial models. The goal is to catalyze, sustain and scale transformation of social, environmental and economic systems in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Learn more about the Foundation’s impact investments.