It's encouraging to see a big fund company like TIAA-CREF introduce another significant offering for socially responsible investors, although the fund's focus is far from surprising.
The New York-based TIAA-CREF announced today that it has launched the Social Choice Bond Fund (TSBIX, TSBBX, TSBRX and TSBPX), an actively managed, socially responsible, core fixed-income mutual fund. Investors have been pouring new money into taxable bond funds in the last two years while pulling it out of stock mutual funds, so a TIAA-CREF bond offering may attract significant interest.
"We continue to see interest from our clients in fixed-income investment options that provide the opportunity for competitive returns and reflect their values," says Stephen M. Liberatore, CFA, portfolio manager of the TIAA-CREF Social Choice Bond Fund.
The bond fund is the second SRI mutual fund that TIAA-CREF is offering. The other is the TIAA-CREF Social Choice Equity Fund (TICRX, TRSCX, TISCX, TRPSX), which has about $1.3 billion in retail assets, according to Morningstar.
Most of the SRI assets that TIAA-CREF currently manages is in its CREF Social Choice Account, a socially screened balanced variable annuity account that was first included in retirement plans at its launch in 1990. As of June 30, the social choice account had $10 billion in assets. In all, TIAA-CREF managed $13 billion in socially responsible assets at June 30, making it one of the largest managers of SRI assets.