All change at US SRI firms as Trillium plans merger with Portfolio 21 and Calvert names CEO

Shake-up at sustainable investment firms

US socially responsible investment firms Portfolio 21 and Trillium Asset Management are “working towards” a merger.

It comes as Portfolio 21’s President John Streur is to join fellow SRI firm Calvert Investments as chief executive, taking over from Barbara Krumsiek.

Portfolio 21, the environmental investment boutique based in Portland, Oregon that was founded in 1982, said it hoped a merger would result in a “substantial improvement” in the resources available to serve clients and its mutual fund shareowners. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed and all of Portfolio 21’s portfolio managers and research analysts will continue to manage its best known offering, the Portfolio 21 Global Equity Strategy.

Streur is a director and equity owner of Portfolio 21 and the firm said he “intends to retain his investment” through the merger with Trillium, which has $1.7bn under management.

It said: “John came to Portfolio 21 at the beginning of 2012 as non-executive Chairman and became President in July of that year. We deeply appreciate all that John has done for Portfolio 21 and our clients.” Trillium CEO Matthew Patsky will become acting President of Portfolio 21. He said the merger would “strengthen the depth of our research capacity, while significantly broadening the investment products that we can offer our clients”.

“We are excited about uniting the vision of our two firms in service to our clients and shareowners,” said Portfolio 21 Chairman Carsten Henningsen.Meanwhile, Calvert, the $13bn sustainability-focused asset manager that is owned by the Ameritas Life Insurance Corp., confirmed Streur’s appointment as CEO. Krumsiek, who joined the firm in 1997 as President and CEO, announced she was stepping down earlier this year; Streur will join Calvert on October 27 and will assume full responsibilities on January 1 next year.

Streur, a former CEO at Managers Investment Group who has written extensively on fossil fuel investments, will relocate from Portland to the Washington DC area. He reckons Calvert is in “the right spot” as investors begin to realize the value of sustainable investment.

“Calvert Investments has over 30 years of intellectual capital on the importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in the investment context. Combine that with its shareholder engagement and policy work and there is no better firm to drive positive change for investors,” Streur said.

Ameritas Executive Vice President Bill Lester – who headed the CEO search – said Streur was a “great addition” to the Calvert team.

Krumsiek, who will remain on the Calvert board, has been named Founding Chair of the Calvert Institute, which will promote the growth of sustainable and responsible investing (SRI).

Streur last month announced publication of the Portfolio 21 Global Equity Strategy Environmental Impact Report, which summarised a recent research project Portfolio 21 has undertaken with environmental data firm Trucost to calculate the environmental footprint of the Strategy’s holdings.