Cambridge Associates’ Perspective on the Ongoing Fossil Fuel Divestment Discussion

The topic of mission-related investing, including the question of fossil fuel divestment, has been on the minds of the endowment community and is receiving increasing public attention. For this reason, we want to confirm our longstanding, steadfast approach to serving our clients and helping them meet their unique investment objectives. We feel this is important because a few groups and campus publications have recently misstated our stance, suggesting we might be advocating for fossil fuel divestment.

It is and has been our policy not to advocate for or against any position that might be counter to our clients’ investment objectives or institutional values, including any decision on whether to divest fossil fuel holdings. Instead, we have always committed to helping each client make investment choices that align with their unique objectives and missions. Clients are in the best position to define their distinct priorities, and we stand ready to assist them in shaping and implementing strategies that further these interests.

We continue to evolve our research platform to support our clients. For institutions interested in building portfolios that align with their environmental and social missions, Cambridge has and will continue to:

    • Incorporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) analysis into our research on all investment managers that we might recommend to clients.
    • Make new investments in technology to facilitate access to ESG and mission-related investing (MRI) information for investment managers in our databases.
    • Encourage investment managers to create more MRI-oriented products to broaden the choices available to institutions seeking close alignment with missions and beliefs.
    • Provide institutions information and advice on the spectrum of MRI strategies, be it screened portfolios or focused impact investments, with the aim of helping clients achieve their MRI goals.

Our stance on fossil fuel divestment and our discussion of the considerations institutions should take into account when contemplating divestment are outlined in our research report, The Fossil Fuel Divestment Discussion, published in June 2014.

Our number one priority has always been to help our clients build portfolios that maximize investment results based on each client’s specific financial and institutional goals. We will continue to work with each client to implement a portfolio that helps achieve the unique objectives that the institution has defined.