US asset management firm comes out in support of Occupy Wall Street

Responsible investors backing protest movement

Trillium Asset Management, one of the most established US sustainable investing firms, has come out in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
“We agree with essential themes emerging from Occupy Wall Street,” Trillium said in a statement.
The firm, whose estimated assets under management are around $900m (€780m), finds common cause with the movement’s protests about wealth distribution.
“As history teaches, such extreme inequity can be socially destabilizing and economically disruptive. It is unsustainable,” the firm added.
And it also backs the disappointment with the government as well as Wall Street. The government, Trillium says, has “failed to resist or meaningfully regulate the corrupting influence of corporate political spending, and at our tax structure, which advantages society’s wealthiest individuals”.
“Most Americans share these frustrations, as do we at Trillium.”

Trillium was founded in 1982 and is a pioneer in socially responsible investing in the US, having been a co-founder of Ceres, the sustainability coalition, and the Social Investment Forum.
The statement continues: “We believe it is our duty to advocate for a market-based economy that provides opportunity for, and serves the needs of the 100% — notjust the 1%.” It backed the call for companies to pay their fair share of taxes and comply with the letter and the spirit of regulations designed to protect the public interest.
“We call on public policymakers to respond to the clear message of their constituents that our democratic system is imperilled by accelerating social and economic inequality. We stand at a crossroads, and the direction we must take is clear.”
Trillium’s statement follows a similar declaration of support from peer firm Zevin Asset Management last month. Domini Social Investments’ founder and chief executive Amy Domini also expressed her support for the movement in an interview with Radio Boston in October.

“We stand at a crossroads”

Jack Ucciferri, Research and Advocacy Director at socially investing firm Harrington Investments, says he has been inspired by the democratic spirit of the Occupy movement to launch an initiative focusing on the democratization of corporate governance and the role of corporations in society. “In my view, today’s most promising human rights leaders are Occupying public spaces all over the world,” he says.