Social Advancement

Invest to advance positive social or environmental goals, without compromising performance.

Your clients don’t necessarily have to sacrifice credit quality, portfolio diversification, or yield to invest in bonds that support positive environmental or community projects. In addition to considering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risk factors as part of the fundamental credit research that allows our team to identify sustainable municipal investments across all our strategies, we also customize Social Advancement portfolios with holdings that speak to the heart.

Continue reading to find information about the type of investor who is interested in Gurtin’s Social Advancement strategy as well as the social issues you can address when you choose to invest in not only your future, but also in the future of the world around you. You can also review key statistics, access detailed fact sheets about our Social Advancement portfolios, and learn the answers to common questions about this strategy.

Investor Profile

Suitable for Clients Focused on Social Impact

Social Advancement Features

When Making a Difference Is an Imperative

At Gurtin, we are always thinking about how our municipal bond selection will affect future investment earnings. With our socially responsible investing (SRI) portfolios, we also consider how investment choices made today will affect societal wellbeing and the environment down the road. With our Municipal Social Advancement strategy, clients can invest in their own future while also investing in impactful projects in local communities across the United States — without necessarily compromising credit quality, diversification, or expected yield.

Which social issue is closest to your clients’ hearts? Let us know which of the following areas of focus your clients would like to target, and we will custom build a Social Advancement portfolio just for them:

Area of Focus

Project Examples

Education
  • K-12 public schools
  • Community college districts
  • Higher Education
Environment
  • Cleaner and safer water and sewer infrastructure
  • Renewable energy
  • Climate change mitigation
Community
  • Public transit
  • Community center improvements
  • Affordable housing

Social Advancement Key Statistics

Key Statistics
  Composite Benchmark
Quality
Average Credit Quality

Ready to Get Started?

If the Social Advancement strategy objectives and performance data align with your client’s investment objectives, we invite you to take the next step and request a portfolio review, so our Advisory Services team can open a new account for your client as soon as possible:
OR
If the objectives of the Social Advancement strategy do not match your municipal investment goals, please complete a quick questionnaire, which will allow us to help you find the strategy that is right for you:

Frequently Asked Questions

Have Questions? We Have Answers.


HOW DO YOU DETERMINE BOND ELIGIBILITY FOR THIS STRATEGY?

When reviewing potential Social Advancement purchases, our in-house credit research team first determines whether the municipal bond meets our credit thresholds — taking into account environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risk factors. Our credit research team then examines the types of projects that bond proceeds will fund and evaluates whether those projects fit within our guidelines.

Our guidelines involve targeting investment in projects that strengthen a community’s educational systems, environmental efforts, public infrastructure, or social service facilities, to help that community advance down a more sustainable path, by doing one or more of the following:

  • Improving a community’s school facilities or infrastructure
  • Reducing a community’s environmental impact
  • Enhancing and encouraging the sustainability of a community’s social fabric

Explore our areas of focus to view the types of projects financed by bonds that fit within our Social Advancement strategy guidelines.


HOW DO THE BONDS ELIGIBLE FOR THIS STRATEGY DIFFER FROM GREEN BONDS?

Green bonds:

  • Are intended to fund projects that have positive environmental benefits
  • Can either be unlabeled or labeled (i.e., “certified”) by a third party
  • Are not entirely restricted to the municipal market

While both unlabeled and certified green bonds in the municipal market are eligible for consideration for purchase for our Social Advancement portfolios, we do not specifically target green bonds. More so, our Social Advancement portfolios include a larger universe of bonds than purely those with an environmental focus, including bonds that may provide educational or community-related benefits.


HOW LARGE IS THE INVESTABLE UNIVERSE FOR THIS STRATEGY?

While the investable universe is narrowed for each area of focus in our Social Advancement strategy due to our highly targeted concentration on either a specific type of project (for our Environment or Education areas of focus) or the intended beneficiaries (for our Community area of focus), we have designed the strategies to maintain appropriate diversification and liquidity for clients.


WHAT TYPES OF BONDS WOULD YOUR TEAM DEEM INELIGIBLE FOR THE COMMUNITY AREA OF FOCUS?

The Community area of focus in our Social Advancement strategy is intended to allow for targeted investment in projects benefitting low- to moderate-income and high-poverty communities, including sectors that promote accessibility for all. With this objective in mind, some examples of projects that could be funded by municipal bond proceeds, but do not meet our investment guidelines include:

  • Coal-burning power plants
  • Nuclear power plants
  • Hotels
  • Sports stadiums
  • Prisons or jails
  • Buildings primarily benefitting the private sector

In addition, we exclude bonds that inadequately document how the bond proceeds will be used.


WHAT ARE THE CUSTOMIZABLE OPTIONS FOR SOCIAL ADVANCEMENT PORTFOLIOS?

We work with clients to build customized Social Advancement portfolios that meet client needs and objectives while still maintaining broad diversification of bonds’ locations, sectors, and obligors (i.e., the entity contractually bound to make all principal repayments and interest payments on outstanding debt).

In addition to having the option to concentrate your Social Advancement portfolio in municipal investments that are focused on education, the environment, or building or improving community infrastructure in low- to moderate-income communities, Social Advancement portfolios can be tailored to satisfy your preferred investment horizon (i.e., short-, limited-, or intermediate-term).


HOW DOES THE RISK-RETURN TRADE OFF COMPARE TO OTHER STRATEGIES?

Our Social Advancement strategy benefits from the same independent credit research and quantitative analysis that our other municipal strategies do. When compared to our similarly structured municipal strategies, our Social Advancement strategy exhibits only nominal differences in some key statistics and has exhibited either similar — or better — performance. We invite you to compare our strategies.


ARE MY CURRENT MUNICIPAL BOND HOLDINGS ALREADY ELIGIBLE FOR THIS STRATEGY?

We would be happy to perform a complimentary assessment of your existing municipal bond portfolio, to determine whether your current municipal bond holdings are suitable for our Social Advancement strategy. For bonds that may be deemed ineligible for purchase for this strategy, we will work with you to determine whether and when to restructure your portfolio. In your complimentary analysis, we will also provide our detailed commentary on the credit quality and structure of your portfolio overall. 

For more information about what to expect in a portfolio assessment, please review our sample portfolio review.


READY TO GET STARTED?
To learn more about how we can customize portfolios to meet investors' specific investment objectives, please contact our Advisory Services team by calling (858) 436-2200 or by emailing AdvisoryServices@gurtin.com.