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Shareholder Values

"Almost three-quarters of investors (74 percent) would be more likely to work with an advisor who could give them competitive investment returns from investments that also made a positive impact on society and 65 percent of investors would be more likely to stay with an advisor who could discuss responsible investing with them."
TIAA Global Asset
    May 2016

"The vast majority of Canadian investors are interested in responsible investments (RI) that incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and they would be more likely to choose responsible investments if their financial advisor suggested suitable RI options for them."
    Association (RIA)
    June 2017

"70% of people [in UK] want to invest ethically but the financial services industry is failing to respond." Referencing research by Abundance.
(UK) June 2015


Press Release

TIAA-CREF Releases Participant Survey on
Socially Responsible Investing

Thursday July 13, 10:00 am ET, 2006

NEW YORK, July 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- TIAA-CREF, the financial services organization and leading provider of retirement plans in the academic, medical and cultural fields, today released results of a comprehensive survey of participants on issues related to socially responsible investing.

"This survey affirms that our participants want a secure retirement and investment decision making that is driven by financial returns," said Scott C. Evans, Executive Vice President and Head of Asset Management. "It also illustrates that many participants think about the environmental and social impact of their investments."

The survey sought to examine participants' attitudes around Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), to gauge their knowledge of and commitment to TIAA-CREF's SRI strategies, and to inform the company's SRI strategies moving forward.

Washington-based Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research conducted the research in February 2006. A total of 1002 interviews were conducted with TIAA-CREF Participants: 501 with those who invest in the CREF Social Choice Account (SCA) and 501 who do not invest in the CREF SCA. There is a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.

Among the findings:

  • Financial return is a strong priority for TIAA-CREF participants. 42% of
    participants who are not invested in the CREF Social Choice Account
    (SCA) and 34% who are invested in it strongly agree with the statement
    that financial return is most important when making investment
    decisions. A total of 91% of non-SCA participants and 85% of SCA
    participants agree with the statement (somewhat agree and strongly
  • TIAA-CREF participants also want their social values reflected in their
    investments. Over a quarter (27%) of SCA participants strongly agree
    and a total of 83% agree with the statement that "ensuring that my
    investment decisions reflect my personal values about social and
    environmental impacts" is most important when making investment
    decisions. Just 15% of non-SCA participants strongly agree with this
    statement, but a total of more than two-thirds (67%) agree with the
  • TIAA-CREF participants have a deep need for more information about SRI
    strategies and accounts, and there is room to attract more interest in
    socially responsible investing. 60% of non-SCA investors describe
    themselves as unfamiliar with the CREF Social Choice Account and just
    24% of SCA participants say they are very familiar with it.
  • SCA and non-SCA participants have slightly different views on SRI
    investment strategies.
  • Among SCA participants, social screening is most important (81% said
    it was important, 38% very important), followed nearly equally by
    community investing (74% important, 21% very important) and
    shareholder activism (70% important, 26% very important).
  • Non-SCA participants rank all three strategies about the same, though
    slightly lower than SCA participants (67% said shareholder activism
    was important, 23% very important; 65% said social screening was
    important, 19% very important; and 66% said community investing was
    important, 17% very important)

"There is an opportunity to educate participants about socially responsible investing generally and about opportunities that TIAA-CREF offers," said Amy O'Brien, TIAA-CREF's Director of Social Investing. "We now have a baseline of information of how our participants view socially responsible investing and the issues and strategies they currently find most appealing."

Last month TIAA-CREF announced the formation of a new Social and Community Investing Department within its Asset Management area. The CREF Social Choice Account is the world's largest social screened investment fund for individual investors with just over $8 billion in assets (3/31/06).

"TIAA-CREF's in-depth participant survey provides a fascinating snapshot of the views of its investors about social investing at present and their expectations for the future," said Tim Smith, President of Social Investment Forum and Senior Vice President of Walden Asset Management. "The TIAA-CREF survey is a signal of what many other investors will expect of their investments in terms of screening, shareholder advocacy and community investing. Its findings are also a significant statement for the whole social investment industry."

The survey also found that majorities of SCA and non-SCA participants buy organic food (61 percent SCA, 48 percent non-SCA) and would consider buying a hybrid car (76 percent SCA, 69 percent non-SCA). They also say that they try to purchase products from companies where they approve of corporate practices (71 percent SCA, 59 percent non-SCA) and boycott products where they disapprove of corporate practices (77 percent SCA, 67 percent non-SCA).

"The survey also indicates that our participants take other opportunities to express their values through purchasing and other consumer behavior, when it comes to spending their own money on socially responsible products and services," said O'Brien.

For a report on the findings from the survey, please visit http://www.tiaa-cref.org.


TIAA-CREF is a national financial services organization with more than $380 billion in combined assets under management (3/31/06) and the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields. Further information can be found at www.tiaa-cref.org.

About TIAA-CREF Social Choice

Initially developed in the 1980s, CREF Social Choice Account has grown into the world's largest social screened investment fund for individual investors with just over $8 billion in assets (03/31/06).

Glen Weiner
Mobile: 917.715.5256

Annuity account options are available through contracts issued by TIAA or CREF. These contracts are designed for retirement or other long-term goals, and offer a variety of income options, including lifetime income. Payments from the variable annuity accounts [and mutual funds] are not guaranteed and will rise or fall based on investment performance.

TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, and Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., distribute securities products.

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Disclaimer: This website does not make investment recommendations. Nothing in this site should be interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation to buy/sell any securities or investments. Investing for the Soul is a source of general information and resources for ethical investing and socially responsible investing (SRI). Investors should consider their actions thoroughly and consult their financial advisers and other professionals, prior to taking any investment action. This website does not necessarily agree with the opinions expressed in articles on its pages or offered on the web pages to which it might be linked. Such opinions are the responsibility of the writers themselves. Furthermore, this site does not offer or provide any warranties, representations, guarantees, implied or otherwise, as to the accuracy, legality, copyright compliance, timeliness or usefulness of the information, materials or services on this, or other sites, to which it is linked. Also, Mr. Ron Robins is not an investment advisor, nor is he licensed with any professional investment related body, and thus is not able to, nor does he make, any investment recommendations.


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