Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) announced the launch of the new Wells Fargo Advantage Social Sustainability FundSM. The Fund will employ a two-pronged approach to its investment strategy: The Fund's managers will use an inclusive screening process to invest in companies that have positive traits related to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors, in addition to avoiding stocks-such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling, or weapons manufacturing companies-based on traditional socially responsible investing (SRI) screens.
The Social Sustainability Fund will invest in approximately 30 to 50 large cap companies. The management team's process begins by establishing fundamental valuations for strong businesses and then identifies those companies whose stock prices are at a discount to that level. Lastly, upon completing the fundamental investment analysis, the team then applies SRI screens to complete the portfolio construction.
"More and more, investors are looking for options that allow them to put their money to work in a manner consistent with their values," says Andrew Owen, executive vice president of Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC. "With our Social Sustainability Fund, clients are now able to access veteran institutional managers who are recognized experts in the SRI category."
The Fund will be subadvised by Nelson Capital Management, an investment management firm based in Palo Alto, CA, that has specialized capabilities in socially responsible investing.
Lloyd Kurtz, co-manager for the Fund, also serves as program administrator for the Moskowitz Prize. This prize is awarded by the Center for Responsible Business at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, and is the only global award that recognizes outstanding quantitative research in the field of socially responsible investing.
"We are very attentive to both fundamental and ESG factors," says Kurtz. "The result, we believe, is an increased level of scrutiny that helps us find better-managed companies that are leaders in their industries and that meet positive standards of corporate responsibility."
About Wells Fargo Funds Management
Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company, offers investment solutions for individual and institutional investors. Through its Wells Fargo Advantage Funds, the firm offers over 100 funds across a wide range of asset classes, representing more than $149 billion in assets under management, as of June 30, 2008. Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC, provides investment advisory and administrative services for Wells Fargo Advantage Funds. Other affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company provide subadvisory and other services for the Funds. The Funds are distributed by Wells Fargo Funds Distributor, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC, an affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.
About Wells Fargo & Co.
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $609 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer finance through almost 6,000 stores and the Internet (www.wellsfargo.com) across North America and elsewhere internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., is the only bank in the United States, and one of only two banks worldwide, to have the highest possible credit rating from both Moody's Investors Service, "Aaa," and Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, "AAA."*