Athena Publishes Research Offering New Approach in Measuring Impact Investments

LINCOLN, Mass. – February 10, 2016 – Athena Capital Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor providing investment management, advisory, and outsourced CIO services to private clients and institutions, today announced that the Journal of Wealth Management published a paper, “Social Finance and the Post-Modern Portfolio: Theory & Practice,” that was authored by several members of the Athena portfolio management and research teams. The research and its findings support a new approach to Modern Portfolio Theory that introduces metrics of social return in the construction of portfolios to accommodate the unique goals of individual investors or institutions pursuing values-based investment strategies. The article appeared in the Spring 2016 edition of the Journal, which was published on January 29, 2016.

The growth of the values-based investing segment has been well documented. As of 2015, the signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment controlled roughly $59 trillion in assets, while the latest estimates calculate roughly $60 billion of total assets under management dedicated directly to impact strategies. With experience in values-based investing that spans over ten years, roughly 25% of Athena’s clients incorporate impact strategies either within or throughout the entirety of their investment portfolios. The firm’s capabilities in this area extend to all major asset classes, and include impact, ESG and SRI screening or shareholder activism.

Beyond introducing a new lens through which to measure and quantify impact investments, the paper also proposes a simple approach to implementing values-based strategies. Utilizing a heuristic approach to assess an individual’s or institution’s varying degrees of interest in certain causes, the model takes into account not only financial goals and risk tolerance, but also the social return goals and potential tradeoffs. The research also proposes strategies in reporting social return outcomes, while highlighting efforts from the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and B Lab to introduce standards that would serve to further enhance impact measurement and reporting.

The research was authored by Athena’s Dr. Lisette Cooper, Senior Advisor Dr. Jeremy Evnine, Research Associate Jeff Finkelman, Managing Director of Research Kate Huntington and David Lynch.

To request a copy of the full paper, please e-mail contactathena@athenacapital.com


BackBay Communication

Ken MacFadyen, 617-391-0786