Editor’s note: This article is part of a continuing series in which Paul Ellis, a well-known advisor and consultant on sustainable investing strategies, interviews industry professionals on the topics of millennials and sustainable investing. What follows is an interview with two industry experts from Pekin Singer Strauss Asset Management: Matthew Blume, manager of shareholder advocacy and Colin Rennich, director of sales.


To read other article in the series, click on the links below:












Ellis: Colin, tell us about the relationship between The Appleseed Fund (ticker: APPLX, APPIX) and Pekin Singer Strauss.

Rennich: Pekin Singer Strauss Asset Management is the advisor to the Appleseed Fund. Adam Strauss, Bill Pekin and Josh Strauss have been portfolio managers of The Appleseed Fund for almost 10 years, since early 2007. They are also the principals of Pekin Singer Strauss (PSS). Matthew Blume, who is also a principal, manages the firm’s shareholder advocacy efforts on behalf of the fund.

I mention this because we believe financial advisors should be asking the managers of their clients’ assets about their engagement with companies on behalf of shareholders. In our experience, advocacy may contribute to enhanced disclosure and transparency into a company’s operations. This provides our analysts with additional information for modeling a more comprehensive risk assessment.

Ellis: Colin, tell our readers about your role with the Appleseed Fund.

Rennich: My role with the fund is investor communication and relations. I work with financial advisors and wealth managers to educate them about the Appleseed strategy and help them grow their business by making better impact-related investment decisions. I’ve been with Pekin Singer since 2012.

Ellis: And what were you doing prior to that?