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2012

December 19, 2012

Robert Zevin's reaction to State Treasurer Grossman's review of weapons investments on WBUR

Robert Zevin was interviewed on WBUR’s Radio Boston on December 19th regarding State Treasurer Steve Grossman’s decision to ask the Massachusetts Pension Board to review its investments in handgun or retailed assault rifle companies in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.  Robert reaffirmed his belief in the role of investors in affecting social change and cited the important public policy changes that occurred after tobacco and South African Apartheid divestments by state treasuries.  Robert pointed out that so far no criteria applied by social investors has interfered with maximizing returns. Robert believes this is an opportune time for states to begin to express interest in addressing the cost of state police, prisons, healthcare and public safety while attracting investments from outside the state by reducing gun ownership and gun violence.  States could do this by first codifying their beliefs by divesting from such companies and then taking other avenues such as lawsuits against handgun and rifle companies as a beginning for legislation on these matters.

You can listen to the entire interview here:  http://radioboston.wbur.org/2012/12/19/gun-control-grossman (Robert Zevin starts at 7:18)

Category: In the Press

December 18, 2012

Zevin withdraws a co-filed shareholder proposal at Apple following progress

The proposal highlighted the privacy risks that come with handling personal information and asked Apple to provide more clarity regarding Board oversight of these issues. Following a productive dialogue between the company, Trillium Asset Management (the lead filer of the proposal), and ZAM, Apple updated its Board’s Audit and Finance Committee charter to include responsibility regarding regulatory, legislative, and reputational privacy risks that confront the company. This fundamental improvement in Apple's corporate governance resulted in the withdrawal of the proposal.

Category: Shareholder Activism

December 16, 2012

ZAM co-files 7 shareholder resolutions at Chevron

Five of the resolutions were also co-filed by ZAM in 2011. One resolution, led by Investor Voice, seeks to make it easier to call special shareholder meetings, given our concerns about how management is handling a range of issues that have created serious threats to long-term shareholder value. Another, led by the Unitarian Universalist Association asks the board to separate the positions of chairman and CEO, following corporate governance best practice. We co-filed again with the New York State Common Retirement Fund asking for the board to nominate a new board member with environmental expertise, especially given the lack of oversight shown with regard to the Ecuador litigation and other potentially materially significant environmental liabilities. We supported the Teamsters on their filing of a proposal asking for further details about the company's opaque country selection process because it is unclear how Chevron determines whether to invest in or withdraw from countries where the government has engaged in ongoing, systematic human rights violations, there is a call for economic sanctions by human rights and democracy advocates, and Chevron’s presence exposes the Company to government sanctions, negative publicity, and consumer boycotts. Once again, ZAM joined The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia to ask Chevron for further information about its hydraulic fracturing operations.

ZAM also co-filed two new resolutions at Chevron in 2012, one alongside the Needmor Fund requesting that its board review the recent legal initiatives against its investors. For details of these aggressive tactics by Chevron, please read these articles in the New York Times and in Social Funds.

Category: Shareholder Activism

December 13, 2012

ZAM co-files 4 shareholder proposals on fracking

ZAM has co-filed four shareholder proposals that ask companies for more information about their hydraulic fracturing activities. At Spectra and Range Resources, ZAM has worked with the primary filer, Trillium Asset Management, to ask for more disclosure around fugitive methane emissions. And at Exxon Mobil and Chevron, we have worked with the primary filers (As You Sow/The New York City Pension Funds and The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, respectively) asking the companies to report on the environmental and community impact cost and mitigation from their fracking operations.

Category: Shareholder Activism

November 18, 2012

ZAM asks for green house gas emissions goals from Stryker

ZAM has co-filed a shareholder proposal at Stryker asking the company to adopt quantitative goals for reducing total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its operations. The lead filer is Walden Asset Management.

Category: Shareholder Activism

November 15, 2012

ZAM co-files 2 shareholder resolutions on corporate lobbying practices.

IBM and Pfizer received co-filed shareholder proposals from ZAM on the issue of lobbying. The lead filers were First Affirmative Financial Network and AFSCME respectively. We asked the companies for more information about their lobbying policies and practices as we believe it is in the best interests of shareholders for companies to be transparent with respect to lobbying expenditures, policy positions and oversight mechanisms. This includes both direct and indirect lobbying, including through trade associations, as well as grassroots lobbying communications.

Category: Shareholder Activism

November 7, 2012

The conundrum of responsible hydrocarbon investing

In her piece for Responsible Investor magazine, Sonia Kowal asks whether responsible investors can chart a path around risky drilling and CO2 emissions. To read the article, click here.

Categories: Shareholder Activism, In the Press

November 6, 2012

AT&T and net neutrality - the saga continues

ZAM has co-filed a shareholder resolution at AT&T, led by Trillium Asset Management, over concerns regarding net neutrality at the company. In September, ZAM co-signed a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about AT&T and its policies regarding the blocking of the “FaceTime” video application which we believe constituted a violation of the commission’s network neutrality (open Internet) rules.

Category: Shareholder Activism

October 30, 2012

ZAM urges smaller companies to report on sustainability

ZAM has joined forces with seven other investors to write letters to its smaller company holdings calling for increased transparency and sustainability reporting. ZAM wrote to eight companies on behalf of the $28bn group to express concerns regarding the lack of information on environmental, social, and governance performance. Dialogues have begun with two of the companies as a result.

Category: Shareholder Activism

October 1, 2012

Sonia Kowal delivers a "popcorn presentation" at the SRI conference

Director of Socially Responsible Investing, Sonia Kowal, introduces Zevin Asset Management to financial advisors at the SRI conference. Click here to watch her presentation.

Category: Presentations

September 30, 2012

SRI from Underground to the Penthouse Suite: Have Our Principles Shrunk as Our Assets Have Increased?

Robert Zevin's presentation at the SRI conference describes the changes in the SRI movement he has seen in the past 45 years of his career and engage the audience with provocative questions. As we have won more mainstream clients and adherents, has our focus on challenging wrongs in the current system diminished? Have we neglected to put our clients completely ahead of our pocketbooks and pride? Click here to watch it.

Categories: Shareholder Activism, Presentations

September 27, 2012

Robert Zevin discusses the European debt crisis on Huffington Post

To read the story, click here.

Category: In the Press

September 4, 2012

Socially Responsible Investing - Whence did we come? Whither are we going?

Click here to read Robert Zevin's article outlining the history of the movement as well as his concerns for the future in the Fall 2012 edition of Green Money.

Categories: Shareholder Activism, Presentations

August 9, 2012

ZAM files shareholder resolution at Emerson Electric for a third year

ZAM co-filed a shareholder resolution on behalf of clients at Emerson Electric Co which asks management to prepare a sustainability report to improve company transparency on environmental, social, and governance matters. The primary filer was Walden Asset Management.  ZAM co-filed a similar resolution with the Company in 2011 and 2010, both of which received over 30% vote in favor of the proposal. So far, dialogues with the company have not been productive.

Category: Shareholder Activism

June 12, 2012

ZAM challenges TJX over water use and pollution in factories

Sonia Kowal attended TJX's annual general meeting and asked the company to take responsibility for its water impact, especially in its supply chain. To read her speech click here. ZAM will continue its dialogue with TJX over this and other sustainability issues in the coming months.

Category: Shareholder Activism

May 30, 2012

Sonia Kowal's letter in the Boston Globe

The Boston Globe ran a letter ("Too many firms lack policies on applicants with criminal records" by Sonia Kowal in response to an article about Massachusetts' Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) reform. To read the letter, click here.

Categories: Shareholder Activism, In the Press

May 30, 2012

ZAM writes to AT&T and Verizon regarding net neutrality

ZAM has written to the CEOs of AT&T and Verizon expressing concern over the possible violation of net neutrality principles within their wireless networks and urging them to commit to treating all content equally – regardless of source, destination, or ownership. To see a copy of the letter, click here. This initiative was highlighted by Socialfunds.com in this article.

Categories: Shareholder Activism, In the Press

May 17, 2012

Ben Lovell featured in Bloomberg Markets Magazine

Ben Lovell and the Zevin investment philosophy is the focus of a Strategies Profile piece  titled Winning by Not Losing in the June 2012 edition of Bloomberg Markets Magazine.

Category: In the Press

April 8, 2012

Robert Zevin speaks at Harvard's Undergraduate Council Town Hall event

Robert Zevin urged the University to consider the integration of environmental, social, and governance factors when making investment decisions on a panel discussing Harvard's investment policies at the university's Undergradue Council's Town Hall event on April 5th. Also on the panel were: Robert Kaplan, Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, Vice Chairman emeritus of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Acting President and Chief Executive Officer of the Harvard Management Company, November 2007 to June 2008, Rakesh Khurana, Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development at the Harvard Business School and Cabot House Master, and Allen Ferrell, Professor at Harvard Law School, Chair of the Harvard Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility. Click here to see the Harvard Crimson's article on the event.

Categories: In the Press, Presentations

March 22, 2012

Ben Lovell featured in the Boston Business Journal

In the article " Smaller asset managers see gains from big shops", Ben Lovell describes how Zevin Asset Management's unique culture and investment philoshopy attracts and retains new clients and staff.

Category: In the Press

March 6, 2012

Robert Zevin interviewed by New Hampshire Public Radio's Virginia Prescott

Veris Wealth Partners LLC Innovator Series event "Volatile Markets, Viable Solutions" in Portmouth, NH featured an interview of Robert Zevin and David Hills, a partner at Veris, by New Hampshire Public Radio's Virginia Prescott.

Categories: In the Press, Presentations

February 27, 2012

Zevin Asset Management Grows into a Corporate Engagement Powerhouse

SocialFunds.com has written a glowing article discussing Zevin Asset Management's recent shareholder engagement activities.

Categories: Shareholder Activism, In the Press

February 23, 2012

Zevin Asset Management, LLC's performance continues to dominate Global Equity investing peers

Zevin Asset Management, LLC is pleased to announce that both of their investment strategies, Global Appreciation and Global Appreciation with Income, have achieved Top Guns status in PSN Informa’s manager ranking database. This distinction is awarded only to the top ten investment managers in each investment category in North America that have outperformed both their benchmark and their peers. Press Release

Both of Zevin's strategies were also featured in Pensions and Investments magazine as top performing managers in their respective categories over both one and five year time frames. See the  Top performing Global Equity managers and Top performing Composite World Allocation managers lists.

 Zevin Asset Management, LLC is especially proud of this recognition because both strategies are managed according to socially responsible guidelines.   

Categories: In the Press, Organizational News

January 10, 2012

Sonia Kowal's letter to the New York Times on criminal background checks

Read Sonia Kowal's letter to the New York Times responding to an article encouraging policies to help clear the way for people with criminal histories to obtain employment.

Category: In the Press

January 2, 2012

Robert Zevin's letter to the Financial Times about excessive risk taking

Read Robert Zevin's letter to the Financial Times in response to an article about professional investors taking excessive risk with their clients' assets.

Category: In the Press

Past performance is not indicative of any specific investment or future results. Views regarding the economy, securities markets or other specialized areas, like all predictors of future events, cannot be guaranteed to be accurate and may result in economic loss to the investor. Specific securities identified and described may or may not be held in portfolios managed by Zevin Asset Management, LLC and do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold, or recommended for advisory clients. The reader should not assume that investments in the securities identified and discussed were or will be profitable. Any securities identified may not have beenselected based on their performance but as an illustrative tool for demonstrating ZAM's shareholder advocacy approach.