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What Would Encourage More ERISA Plans to Use ESG Investments?

When considering ESG investing, retirement plan sponsors are still concerned about performance and transparency, and some are confused by the latest DOL guidance. The U.S. Sustainable Investment Forum (U.S. SIF) recently published the “Report on U.S. Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends 2018” that includes data indicating growth in the use of what it calls sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investment options in Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) retirement plans. The organization reports an uptick in SRI holdings from 2014 to 2016. The data was evaluated in light of Department of Labor (DOL) guidance on what it called economically targeted investments (ET

Investor Profile: Dr. Alice Mann, Operating Partner, Blue Wolf Capital

Dr. Alice Mann is an Operating Partner at Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC. The Blue Wolf Capital Funds are a family of private funds which focus on transformational investments in middle market companies. For over 20 years, Dr. Mann has advised senior executives to build high-performing leadership teams, develop winning talent strategies, and design organizations that achieve outstanding performance results. As the human capital leader, Dr. Mann drives Blue Wolf's human capital due diligence and works directly with the leadership of Blue Wolf's portfolio companies to develop their talent strategies and capabilities to deliver on their value creation plans. Dr. Mann sits on Blue Wolf's ESG com

A Thanks for Taking Back the Heartland

The Heartland Network took part in a remarkable 18-month road show through midwest manufacturing cities-connected to a research collaborative--about the state of the economy, one decade after the onset of the Great Recession. We heard from 500 local stakeholders who talked about the continuing anger and distress of workers and citizens in communities left behind. But they also called for new, sustainable industrial investment policies to retrain and re-employ workers in higher wage jobs, revitalize Heartland cities and rebuild America. We adopted a set of bottoms-up best practices as the fountainhead for this new innovative strategy and on September 13th shared this framework with 150 guests

What We've Learned about Building a High Wage America

On September 13, experts and elected officials gathered in Washington, D.C. to tackle the issues of long-term stagnating wages, income inequality, and the generally low wages facing the American economy. Mark Zuckerman, president of The Century Foundation (TCF), welcomed 150+ guests to “Building a High Wage America: Lessons from the Heartland,” co-hosted by TCF’s Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative and the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), with additional support from Heartland Capital Strategies, the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council, the Joyce Foundation, and PNC Bank. Here are the key points made by experts representing the Century Foundation’s tour of the heartland, alo

Wind and solar projects pump investment grade portfolio returns

Ullico has purchased part of a 1.3 GW wind+solar portfolio, originally developed and sold by sPower. The transaction, and other optimizations surrounding the portfolio, have increased the return on investment to 13% for one of the investment groups involved. Big money, hungry for long term, consistent, cash flow, keeps flowing into renewable energy. Lancaster Dry Farm Ranch, sPower website Ullico Inc. has agreed to purchase 24% of a portfolio of 1.3 GW of solar and wind projects developed by sPower, which contains 70 projects that have long term power purchase agreements with investment grade off takers. The portfolio was fully owned by the Alberta Investment Management Corporation and The A

Georgetown Grad Students Unionization

HCS Note: Congratulations to our colleagues at Georgetown for their efforts. Letter from Dr. Robert Groves, Provost: Following an election from Nov. 5-8 during which nearly 1,100 graduate student assistants were given the opportunity to vote on whether or not they would like to be represented by a union, we write today to share election results. A majority of students voted in favor of unionization, with a count of 555-108. The American Arbitration Association (AAA), a neutral third party that conducted the election, has reported the election results, but that certification will not be finalized until after a two-week period outlined in the election agreement. Earlier today, we joined with t

Chicago Municipal Employees narrows infrastructure manager search to 3 finalists

Chicago Municipal Employees' Annuity & Benefit Fund named three finalists in its search for its first infrastructure manager to run $80 million, said Steve Yoon, investment manager. The $4.3 billion pension fund named IFM Investors, J.P. Morgan Asset Management (JPM) and Ullico Investment Advisors as finalists to run an open-end portfolio. The pension fund issued an RFP in August for more diversification and more yield, Mr. Yoon said at the time. Funding will likely come from two core fixed-income managers, neither of which would be terminated. As of June 30, LM Capital Group and UBS Asset Management ran $264 million and $68 million, respectively, in active domestic core fixed income. Finali

Amalgamated Bank Will Probe Borrowers About Their Carbon Imprint

Amalgamated Bank is signing on to the Paris Climate Agreement -- at least in practice. The New York-based bank said it will begin tracking the carbon emissions it is financing through its $3.4 billion loan portfolio, using as a guide the science that would limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, which is the goal of the Paris accord. Amalgamated, whose largest shareholder is the Workers United union, will also start measuring the carbon profile of new potential debt issues, as a way to evaluate borrowers’ exposure to potential future carbon constraints. Working with the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, Amalgamated said it will help develop a carbon-accounting system similar to one u

We Are #PittsburghStrong

As our hometown of Pittsburgh continues to mourn and begins the work on healing from the tragic events of this last week, we are touched by the outpouring of support from around the globe. We offer our own deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones and pray they find peace. A special thanks is offered to our Pittsburgh Police, first responders, and other local supporters for their selfless service to our community...now and always. Here at Heartland, we are always seeking to bring promise and opportunity to our communities and the future. We must ensure what we leave to the next generation is a world where there is no divide, where we are stronger than hate. As Pittsburghers, in

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