PARSIPPANY, N.J., Feb. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Hennion & Walsh, one of the nation’s premier providers of investment services and an advocate for individual investors, today announced the launch of its SmartTrust Sustainable Impact Investing Trust, further expanding its suite of proprietary SmartTrust Unit Investment Trust (UIT) portfolios. Selected by Argus Investors’ Counsel and based, in part, on criteria established by IW Financial, the Trust seeks to provide investors with total return potential by investing in the stocks of companies that meet the Trust’s investment criteria including, but not limited to, environmental, social and governance factors.
According to The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, sustainable, responsible and impact investing (SRI) in the U.S. has grown substantially since 2012. At the start of 2014, $6.57 trillion in assets under management used SRI strategies, a 76% increase from just two years earlier. These assets now account for more than one out of every six dollars under professional management in the U.S.
“Investors today are increasingly looking to align their portfolios with their personal beliefs and values,” said Kevin Mahn, Chief Investment Officer of SmartTrust. “The Sustainable Impact Investing Trust offering from SmartTrust goes beyond traditional socially responsible investment strategies, and we’re proud to partner with Argus Investors’ Counsel and IW Financial to provide investors with a way to potentially generate a financial return while encouraging positive environmental, social and governance (ESG) benefits.”
Selected by Argus Investors’ Counsel, the Trust seeks to achieve its objective by investing in equity securities included in the S&P 1500 Index that meet the criteria established by IW Financial. IW Financial scores companies according to its Best in Class Methodology (BIC) Ratings comprised of sixty distinct criteria that determine how various environmental, social and governance issues can be most effectively understood and quantified. These indicators are organized into fourteen weighted issue areas that provide ratings covering a broad vision of governance practices, environmental policies and performance, as well as the overall transparency of the rated companies through the information that they make publically available. BIC Ratings range between 1 and 100, with 100 being the highest score. U.S. large-cap, dividend paying companies with high BIC ratings from IW Financial and Buy ratings from Argus are considered for this portfolio.
“Our established history of providing independent research and analysis on U.S. equities is the perfect complement to SmartTrust’s proven track record of delivering innovative UIT investment strategies,” said John Eade, President at Argus Research. “We’re excited to further discover synergies with SmartTrust that will allow us to continue delivering unique investment options to help investors meet their goals.”
“It’s becoming increasingly important for financial professionals to consider the environmental, social and governance performance of the companies they invest in,” said Sam Pierce, CEO of IW Financial. “We’re proud to support SmartTrust’s efforts to develop products that directly speak to investors’ personal principles and values.”
SmartTrust® UITs offer diversified income and total return opportunities through innovative investment strategies. Assets grew by 27 percent and the number of Trusts outstanding grew by more than 38 percent in 2014. For more information about Hennion & Walsh’s SmartTrust® UIT products, please contact the firm’s Internal Support Desk at 888-505-2872, or visit www.smarttrustuit.com
About Hennion & Walsh
Hennion & Walsh, a full service brokerage firm specializing in municipal bonds, was founded in 1990 by Richard Hennion and Bill Walsh. Their mission is to be the individual investor’s fiercest and most passionate advocate. Investment guides, webinars, seminars and online content are just some of the ways they help investors become better informed and make better investment decisions. The firm has built its reputation on developing strong, mutually beneficial relationships designed to last a lifetime, serving over 18,000 clients with brokerage accounts and managed portfolios. They are committed to providing individual investors with the institutional-quality service and guidance they believe they are entitled to. Additional information on Hennion & Walsh is available at www.hennionandwalsh.com.
About Argus Research
Argus Investors’ Counsel, Inc. is the asset management arm of The Argus Research Group, Inc. and provides equity investment management services for institutional investors, registered funds and private investors. Clients include corporations, public and private pension funds, Taft Hartley organizations, foundations, endowments, and high net-worth individuals. The history of Argus dates back to 1934, with the founding of Argus Research Corporation, one of the first firms to provide independent research and analysis on U.S. equities to the professional market. Argus Investors’ Counsel was founded in 1960.
About IW Financial
IW Financial is a leading independent provider of objective research and technology solutions that help financial professionals evaluate the environmental, social, and governance performance of companies. The company was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Portland, Maine with a research hub in Johnson City, Tennessee. IW Financial has a proprietary technology platform that adds value to research through a patented ratings engine that utilizes user-defined analytics while providing rapid access to the specific data a user is interested in seeing. In addition, the company frequently collaborates with clients to create custom methodologies, data feeds, and reporting formats designed to meet specific needs.
IW Financial is a proud supporter of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. The UNPRI provides a framework for giving appropriate consideration to environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues that can affect the performance of investment portfolios. To date, PRI signatories have over $25 trillion in assets under management.
SOURCE Hennion & Walsh