on-profit money talks at CRAFunds
, where high interest from
organizations researching socially-responsible investing caused the
Weston, Florida-based firm to shift investor targets. The CRA Qualified
Investment Fund, originally developed to assist bank compliance with the
Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, announced today its strategy aimed
at capturing retail and non-bank institutional investors.
"It was difficult for banks to find investments satisfying the community
development aspect of the Act," said a CRA funds spokesperson, explaining
the history. "And then some non-profit organizations came aboard, and
spurred us on to this new market."
Under the label "Direct Impact Investing," CRA funds offers investors the
capacity to specify the geographic region, starting at a three-mile
radius, in which to invest the money. The portfolio manager, Todd Cohen
will select visible vehicles, typified by targeted mortgage-backed
securities, job creation bonds, and project loans.
To date, the fund, with $35 million in assets under management, has relied on a
word-of-mouth marketing campaign supplemented by some direct mail. The
no-load funds require a $250,000 minimum investment, and discussions are
underway to lower that to $5,000. Backoffice services are provided by
the Declation Group.
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