For-profit

Pax World Funds

Formation:

1971

Type:

Investment Group

Pax World Funds is a socially and environmentally left-of-center investment group founded in 1971 by anti-Vietnam War United Methodist ministers. One of the earliest funds focused on investing in companies which match its values, it has gone through several name and ownership changes.  It is currently managed by Impax Asset Management Group. [1] In 2008, the firm paid the Securities and Exchange Commission a $500,000 penalty for investing in companies that transgressed its stated social responsibility guidelines. [2]

History

Pax World Funds was founded in 1971 by anti-war United Methodist pastors who were seeking to influence social culture through the investment decision-making process. [3] Its investment choices since its founding have been influenced by left-of-center social factors such as avoiding companies seen to profit from war, supporting companies which provide food and housing, and endorsing environmentalist policy. [4]

The company faced significant controversy in 2008. That year, it paid a $500,000 fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission after it was discovered to have invested in companies which violated its official investment policies related to defense industry contracts, liquor, tobacco, and gambling. While senior company executives blamed staff oversight, a New York Times report noted that CEO Joseph Keefe said some of the bans were “old-fashioned” and not “appropriate for today’s world.” [5]

Pax World Funds was purchased by Impax Asset Management Group in 2018. [6] In 2019, it and other long-term left-leaning investment companies faced significant pressure from larger firms which are late-arrivals in the investment activism space. Reuters reported that Pax lost money to other firms for a time in 2019. [7]

Investments and Social Activism

Pax World Funds’ assets totaled approximately $1.825 billion as of September 30, 2019. [8] Its funds are geographically, internationally, and industry-diverse. [9] It has seven different fund types which it manages, two of which are based on the social activism categories gender and environment. [10]

The gender fund – formally known as the Women’s Equality Fund – invests in companies which Pax believes support its left-of-center positions on gender equity. This program was launched in 2007. Pax has received awards and commendations from like-minded organizations for its focus, and it has engaged in non-investment activism to promote its view of gender equity. [11][12]

Pax received an environmental award in 2019 for its investments promoting climate alarmism. [13]

Pax also engages in public policy activism and advocacy on corporate policies. [14] It regularly issues reports and white papers on its areas of activism. [15]

Two of Pax’s major issues as a shareholder activist company are gender pay equity and female representation in corporate leadership. In 2019, it pressured Oracle into examining its internal pay structure. [16][17] The company opposes all-male boards and requires at least two women on boards of companies when it votes with other shareholders. [18]

Pax’s investments are in some of the nation’s and world’s leading companies. Three of its top four Gender Equity investments are held in Microsoft, Texas Instruments, and Best Buy. [19] Its top Global Environmental investment is with Linde PLC, a multi-billion dollar gas and engineering company. [20]

Pax’s non-investment activism includes partnerships with like-minded organizations and its non-profit arm, Pax World Management Charitable Fund. [21] Many of its donations are apolitical, but some are directly tied to its core environmental and gender activism. [22] Pax’s non-profit donations and work are done in partnership with the NH Charitable Fund; donations go to apolitical and advocacy-related organizations and causes.

Leadership

Pax founders Elliott Corbett and Dr. Luther Tyson were United Methodist ministers when they founded the company in 1971. [23] The company’s longtime CEO, Joseph Keefe, is a former New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman and a longtime left-leaning activist and investor advisor. He has received a number of accolades for his work to promote left-leaning priorities related to women’s pay and female corporate leadership. [24]

Chief Financial Officer Alicia DuBois joined Pax in 2006 after a career in financial investing. [25] Chief Investment Officer Steve Falci engaged in socially activist investing at Calvert Investment Group and Pax after engaging in traditional financial investing. [26]

References

  1. Pax World, History, Accessed December 9, 2019. https://paxworld.com/about/history/ ^
  2. Ron Lieber, “Socially responsible, with egg on its face,” August 22, 2008. Accessed December 9, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/23/business/yourmoney/23money.html ^
  3. Pax World, History, Accessed December 9, 2019. https://paxworld.com/about/history/ ^
  4. CSR News, “Jack Corbett remembered, mourned by Pax World family,” March 27, 2003. Accessed December 9, 2019. https://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/23234-Jack-Corbett-Remembered-Mourned-by-Pax-World-Family ^
  5. Ron Lieber, “Socially responsible, with egg on its face,” August 22, 2008. Accessed December 9, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/23/business/yourmoney/23money.html ^
  6. Pax World, History, Accessed December 9, 2019. https://paxworld.com/about/history/ ^
  7. Ross Kerber, “Sustainable investors face squeeze as larger firms move in,” November 19, 2019. Accessed December 9, 2019. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-investment-funds-sustainability/sustainable-investors-face-squeeze-as-larger-firms-move-in-idUSKBN1XT1LH ^
  8. Pax World, Pax Balanced Fund, Accessed December 9, 2019. https://paxworld.com/funds/pax-balanced-fund/ ^
  9. Pax Balanced Fund, Fact Sheet, 3rd Quarter 2019, Accessed December 9, 2019. https://paxworld.com/assets/pdfs/factsheets/fact_sheet_balancedfund.pdf?pwm=8447 ^
  10. U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, Pax World Funds Series Trust I, Accessed December 9, 2019. https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/76721/000095012310044590/b80807a1e497.htm#103 ^
  11. Pax World Funds, “Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund receives fund innovation award,” April 12, 2019. Accessed December 9, 2019. https://paxworld.com/pax-ellevate-global-womens-leadership-fund-receives-fund-innovation-award/ ^
  12. Sallie Krawcheck, “It’s time to stop investing in men by default,” October 16, 2018. Accessed December 9, 2019. https://iam.paxworld.com/its-time-to-stop-investing-in-men-by-default/ ^
  13. Pax World Funds, “Pax World Funds recognized with trio of sustainable investing awards in 2019,” November 12, 2019. Accessed December 9, 2019. https://paxworld.com/pax-world-funds-recognized-with-trio-of-sustainable-investing-awards-in-2019/ ^
  14. Pax World Funds, Sustainable Investing, Accessed December 9, 2019. https://paxworld.com/sustainable-investing/ ^
  15. Pax World Funds, Thought Leadership, Accessed December 9, 2019. https://paxworld.com/category/insights/thought-leadership/ ^
  16. Kristi Faulkner, “A tale of two pay gaps: Citi versus Oracle,” November 26, 2019. Accessed December 9, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kristifaulkner/2019/11/26/a-tale-of-two-pay-gaps-citi-versus-oracle/#277f4fd53d8c ^
  17. Nico Grant and Anders Melin, “Oracle’s largely white board draws congressional scrutiny,” November 22, 2019. Accessed December 9, 2019. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-22/oracle-s-largely-white-board-attracts-congressional-scrutiny ^
  18. Pax World Funds, 2018 Impact Report, Accessed December 9, 2019. https://paxworld.com/assets/pdfs/sustainability/pax-impact-report-2018.pdf?pwm=5091 ^
  19. Pax World Funds, Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund, Accessed December 9, 2019. https://paxworld.com/funds/pax-ellevate-global-womens-leadership-fund/ ^
  20. Pax World Funds, Pax Global Environmental Markets Fund, Accessed December 9, 2019. https://paxworld.com/funds/pax-global-environmental-markets-fund/ ^
  21. Pax World Funds, Leading our industry forward, Accessed December 9, 2019. https://paxworld.com/about/#partnerships ^
  22. Pax World Funds, 2018 Impact Report, Accessed December 9, 2019. https://paxworld.com/assets/pdfs/sustainability/pax-impact-report-2018.pdf?pwm=5091 ^
  23. CSR News, “Jack Corbett remembered, mourned by Pax World family,” March 27, 2003. Accessed December 9, 2019. https://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/23234-Jack-Corbett-Remembered-Mourned-by-Pax-World-Family ^
  24. Pax World Funds, Joseph Keefe, Accessed December 9, 2019. https://paxworld.com/about/team/joseph-keefe/ ^
  25. Pax World Funds, Alicia Dubois, Accessed December 9, 2019. https://paxworld.com/about/team/alicia-dubois/ ^
  26. Pax World Funds, Steve Falci, Accessed December 9, 2019. https://paxworld.com/about/team/steve-falci/ ^
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