Advisors Should Ask: Is My Investment Manager a Partner?

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Aug 6, 2020 3:03:59 PM

The financial crisis was painful for anyone working on Wall Street, but the period gets credit for improving at least one industry dynamic: The bar for effective communication from an asset manager has been significantly raised.

As markets plummeted, advisors, consultants, investment committees and other key fund decision makers demanded dialogue from their portfolio managers about the market collapse and what they planned to do going forward. The demand for increased communication continues today, and is an industry trend we applaud.

Advisors and consultants deserve shared insight from their investment managers, and an open forum for communication. In short, they deserve true partnership. We believe boutique asset managers are best positioned to deliver the partnership clients deserve.

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Seven ESG Due Diligence Questions Every Advisor Should Ask

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Jul 30, 2020 8:52:30 PM

As investor interest in ESG grows, so too are the number of ESG strategies to choose from. Already, 23 ESG funds have launched in 2020, and more than 20 others are in registration at the SEC, according to Morningstar.¹ This marks the sixth straight year of more than 20 launches.

With more fund launches, due diligence isn’t getting any easier. We believe one way advisors and other allocators can help their clients find the right strategy is to ask whether they want a fund that is directly engaging businesses to improve corporate policy around ESG issues.

Many ESG funds do not engage management teams on policies, but instead rely on ESG ratings to screen out non-ESG friendly companies and include companies with better ratings. That may well be enough for some clients.

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Amid ESG Fund Proliferation, Advisors Must Be Mindful of Fit

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Jul 9, 2020 11:12:14 AM

ESG interest is growing and as asset flows follow, so too are the number of strategies dedicated to the space. For investment advisors, that makes the job of matching client objectives with the right strategy increasingly difficult.

In a recent Q&A session, Dana portfolio managers touched on the issue, and where their own ESG fund may – or may not – fit within a portfolio. A brief excerpt from the interview explains:

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Top 3 Blog Posts of 2020

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Jun 30, 2020 2:28:42 PM

It’s hard to believe we are already halfway through 2020 – and what a ride it has been so far.

Our top three blogs for the year to date include insights on the fall into bear market territory, an almost equally quick rebound that seemed out of touch with economic reality, and an index that has more concentration risk than at any point over the last 30 years. These issues are still relevant today – give them a read and make some sense of the madness.

As always, we welcome your questions or comments. If you would like for us to cover a specific topic, we would love to hear from you. Just fill out the form on our contact us page and we will be in touch! 

Warmly,

Dana Investment Team 

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Clearing Up the ABCs of ESG

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on May 7, 2020 5:33:28 PM

While ESG interest is undoubtedly on the rise, the category hasn’t reached its full growth potential. One issue potentially holding it back? Clarity.

An October 2019 report from the Institute of International Finance1 found that financial firms are using nearly 80 different terms to describe various forms of sustainable investing. As the report describes, this is creating confusion for would-be investors:

“At best, this confusion makes it hard to compare investment products and for clients to understand the differences in offerings,” the report states. “At worst, it facilitates greenwashing—intentionally misleading investors or giving them a false impression about how well their investments are aligned with their sustainability goals.”

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Top 3 Blog Posts 2019

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Jan 7, 2020 12:30:50 PM

Reflecting on 2019, but looking ahead to 2020! 

Below we highlight our most popular blog posts from 2019. We're all grateful for the support of our many loyal readers. As always, we welcome your questions or comments.  Also, if you would like for us to cover a specific topic in 2020, we would love to hear from you.  Just fill out the form on our contact us page and we will be in touch! 

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Do ESG Investors Believe In Unicorns?

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Nov 6, 2019 4:35:40 PM

The once red-hot market for unicorn investments has turned chilly. These start-up enterprises with a value of at least $1 billion have enjoyed relative easy access to private capital this cycle. Robust growth, easy credit and a fair amount of hype combined to elevate the early valuations of these companies. Peloton Interactive, Inc. (PTON), the maker of stationary bikes and treadmills, marketed itself as “selling happiness.”  Ridesharing company, Lyft, Inc. (LYFT) claimed it was “at the forefront of societal change.” Corporate real estate leasing company WeWork aimed to “elevate the world’s consciousness.”  

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Q&A: ESG Investing

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Nov 1, 2019 7:37:47 AM

The October issue of Citywire RIA Magazine has hit the newsstands and they released an RIA Supplement titled, “ESG’s Time Has Come.”  Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing seems to be a hot topic recently, but many advisors are not up to date with the ins and outs of ESG investing. 

As part of the supplement, Dana submitted an article answering many questions that advisors have about ESG Investing.  Questions include:

  • What advice would you have for advisors who are looking to get into this space or deepen their ESG Investing toolkit?
  • ESG Strategies have become popular. Why is this?
  • What’s your approach to ESG Investing? How does it differ from competitors?
  • What funds do you offer? Are they all ESG funds?
  • How do you see the future of ESG playing out? Is it going to become more mainstream and just a regular part of how people invest?
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Defining Faith-Based Investing

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Oct 23, 2019 4:19:49 PM

“Among us, who is above must be in service to others.  This doesn’t mean we have to wash each
other’s feet every day, but we must help one another.”
-Pope Francis

What do we want to accomplish with our time here on Earth?  What impact do we want to have on society?  How do we want to help shape the future for the generations that follow?  Mankind has asked itself these philosophical questions for ages. Their emerging importance in the form of environment, social and governance (ESG) investing or sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investing is a relatively more recent phenomenon.

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Faith-Based Investors Make an Impact

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Oct 17, 2019 5:01:37 PM

Faith-based institutions continue to be leaders in the evolution and growth of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing. During September’s Financing The Future summit in South Africa, 22 religious group organizations announced their plans to divest oil, gas and coal investments, solidifying Faith-based investors’ position as the single largest constituency exiting fossil fuels1. While many ESG investing strategies utilize these exclusionary screening techniques to avoid investments in fossil fuels or sectors such as weapons, tobacco, alcohol and pornography, a group of Catholic faith-based investors are taking their ESG investment approach further by implementing and advocating a proactive approach to investment selection.

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The Dana Funds are distributed by Ultimus Fund Distributors, LLC. There is no affiliation between Ultimus Fund Distributors, LLC. and the firms referenced in this blog post.