Shepherd Financial Services
, the advisor to a family of socially screened Christian Fundamentalist mutual funds, has added four new products to its family, including two sub-advised by Templeton Portfolio Advisory Services
and Nicholas-Applegate Capital
Templeton will manage the Shepherd Values International Fund
, and Nicholas-Applegate will manage the Shepherd Values Small Cap Fund
Additionally, effective September 21 Shepherd launched the Shepherd Values Fixed Income Fund
managed by Potomac Asset Management
, and the Shepherd Values VIF Equity Fund
managed by Cornerstone Capital Management
All of Shepherd's funds conform to the same screening process, weeding out companies that produce alcohol and tobacco or are involved in gambling, all traditionally screened from most SRI (socially responsible investing) funds.
Shepherd's funds take the SRI idea several steps further right, also screening out companies that produce pornography, have policies that support abortion, and companies whose definition of domestic partner includes same-sex relationships.
In the relatively short history of SRI Funds, several companies have had significant recent success, both from a performance standpoint and from an asset-gathering standpoint. The Domini Funds
, the Pax World Funds
, and Neuberger & Berman
all have an SRI fund with assets under management of over $1 billion;Citizens Funds
and Calvert Funds
both have one with over $500 million.
However, the conservative Christian fund groups, The Timothy Plan
, and the Noah Fund
, have trod a much rockier road in both in terms of gathering assets, albeit with solid performance from the Noah Fund. The Timothy Plan's flagship Small-Cap Value Fund has about $30 million and the Noah Fund only $9 million. Shepherd first two funds, launched in April of this year, aren't exactly burning up the charts yet, with about $600,000 between the two.
Both the Timothy Plan and Shepherd Funds appear to be addressing the problem by broadening their product lineups, with the Timothy Plan adding three new funds in June and the Shepherd Funds' new additions.
Shepherd has also launched a variable annuity product with ING
, according to the company's president, Stephen Bolt
, and will be making an announcement in the near future about another VA alliance. Bolt also alluded to a potential distribution agreement with a major Southern bank network but would not specify which bank.
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