SRI assets grew more during the financial crisis and are continuing to grow at a faster pace than professionally managed assets as a whole, according to the new 2010 edition of the Social Investment Forum Foundation's Report on Socially Responsible Investing Trends in the United States.

SRI assets were up 13% to $3.07 trillion from the beginning of 2007 through the end of 2009, while the universe of professionally managed assets increased less than 1%, the report says. Of the total more than $2.5 trillion specifically incorporate ESG criteria. Of those ESG assets, institutional investors owned or administered 75%, more than $2 trillion, and 25%, or about $692 billion, were identified within specific investment vehicles managed by money managers.

SIF Board Chair Cheryl Smith, PhD, CFA, president and senior portfolio manager, Trillium Asset Management Corp., says SRI assets account for 12.2% of the $25.2 trillion in professionally managed assets today, nearly one of every $8. 

At the beginning of 2010, the $692 billion with investment managers was spread across 725 investment vehicles, including private equity, mutual funds and property funds, said Trends report co-author Joshua Humphreys, director of the Center for Social Philanthropy at the Tellus Institute. He added there were 250 mutual funds in 65 fund families that incorporated ESG factors, a 45% increase since 2007. Those mutual funds held $316.1 billion in total assets. There were 26 SRI ETFs with $4 billion, compared with eight such ETFs in 2007.