Tier 3: Socially Responsible Funds
The only fund that invests according to the values of Reform Judaism
RPB’s Reform Jewish Values (RJV) Fund—available for participants and congregational investors—is within our Tier 2 self-directed fund offerings.
This is a low-cost global equity fund that invests in the stocks of large- and mid-cap companies located throughout all major regions of the world, including the United States. It’s a passive fund that tracks the MSCI All Country World Index, and its fee is among the lowest of commercially available socially responsible investing mutual funds.1
- The RJV Fund fee is among the lowest of ESG strategies managed in separate account vehicles, based on eVestment data of 73 managed ESG funds.
RJV Fund details
MSCI ACWI. The index represents approximately 85% of the global equity investment opportunity set.
Long-term principal growth while reflecting Reform Jewish values priorities
A mix of stocks of large- and mid-capitalization companies located throughout all major regions of the world (all global developed and emerging markets)
Who should consider investing?
Investors who want to make a social impact with their investments and have the ability to tolerate short- to medium-term fluctuations in principal due to adverse economic conditions
- The investment management fee is a blended rate based on the fund’s total pool of assets: 15 bps for the first $10 million in assets and 10 bps for assets over $10 million. For example, if the fund value is $20 million, the annualized fee is 12.5 bps. Participants also pay an RPB Administration Fee (20 bps) and a Custody, Record Keeping, and Investment Consulting Fee (7 bps).
- As of 2/1/20.
Jewish tradition teaches that we have a duty to help make our world a better place. Rabbi Tarfon, a great Jewish sage, taught: “It is not your responsibility to finish the work [of perfecting the world], but you are not free to desist from it either.”
– PIRKEI AVOT (Ethics of the Fathers), 2:16
RJV Fund alignment of investments with values
The RJV Fund’s holdings are guided by the resolutions of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), and the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism.
The fund uses the following investment screens to incorporate the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) priorities of the Reform Movement into the portfolio:
We avoid companies based on:
- Issue: Predatory lending, civilian firearms, landmines, and cluster munitions
- Industry: Tobacco and coal & consumable fuels
- Geography: Companies that conduct business with the Sudanese government, based on the principles outlined by the Sudan Divestment Task Force
We place greater emphasis on companies with:
- Better-performing environmental, social, and corporate governance practices
- Practices or businesses that have a positive impact on the environment
- Business ties to Israel
In addition to investment screens, we actively participate in shareholder proxy votes through Institutional Shareholder Services, a leader in SRI proxy voting. We also can join shareholder initiatives that promote change in corporate practices related to ESG issues through Aperio Group’s relationship with As You Sow.
RJV Fund’s ESG profile versus the benchmark
- The weighted-average RPB Social Score is specific to the MSCI ACWI.
- Israel is a small percentage of the MSCI ACWI’s investable equity opportunity set.
Fund construction methodology
In partnership with Aperio Group, we created a socially responsible fund that reflects Reform Movement values using the following methodology:
RPB’s Values Task Force (with representatives from RPB, CCAR, URJ, and CSA) and Aperio interpreted and aligned CCAR, URJ, and CSA resolutions with currently available ESG criteria to create a values policy statement for RPB called a Social Profile.
Based on RPB’s Social Profile, we identified a desired Social Score for the fund that was better than the benchmark’s score and also met our financial risk requirements. The Social Score provides a basis for comparing our values-aligned portfolio to its benchmark, the MSCI ACWI.
Aperio used their proprietary model, along with our Social Profile and target Social Score, to select the fund’s securities and determine their relative weightings in the portfolio.
RPB’s Investment Committee reviewed the portfolio and financial risk metrics, and our board adopted the fund.
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