Full Show

Activist Investors Promote Genocide-Free Mutual Funds

CWR co-hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon speak with Eric Cohen, chairperson for Investors against Genocide and Tim Smith, senior vice president at Walden Asset Management and immediate past chair of the Social Investment Forum, about the campaign promoting targeted divestment by mutual funds from companies supporting the Khartoum regime in the Sudan.

Smith, who helped pioneer the practice of shareholder activism encouraging companies to adopt more sustainable and responsible practices as a founder of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, discusses the novelty and efficacy of engaging mutual funds, which has rarely been practiced until now.

Eric Cohen
Eric Cohen
Cohen explains the strategy in-depth, noting that the SEC upheld its validity after mutual fund giant Fidelity challenged it legally. He also cites a 2007 survey in which 71% of respondents said that mutual fund companies should take into account extreme cases of human rights abuses when investing overseas, rather than make their investment decisions on economic criteria alone.

edited transcript of this interview on SocialFunds.com

Investors against Genocide

Fidelity Confirms Vote on Genocide-free Investing

Walden Asset Management

Social Investment Forum

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

July 5, 2006 edition of CWR: “Sudan Divestment”

May 22, 2007 SocialFunds article: “Fidelity Divests Large Chunk of Sudan-Related Holdings”

July 21, 2006 SocialFunds article: “Filing Resolutions at Mutual Funds: The Next Frontier for Shareowner Activism?”

March 9, 2006 SocialFunds article: “Sudan Presents Investment Risk as Genocidal Regime and State Sponsor of Terrorism”

June 1, 2005 SocialFunds article: “Students and States Seek to End Genocide in Sudan Through Divestment Campaigns”

December 10, 2004 SocialFunds article: “Divesting From Genocide: A Conversation with Eric Reeves of the Divest Sudan Campaign”

December 14, 2004 SocialFunds article: “Divesting from Genocide: More Conversation with Eric Reeves of the Divest Sudan Campaign”