Sustainability Matters

Don't Get Thrown Off by Sustainable Fund Labels

Jon Hale, Ph.D., CFA

Neuberger Berman Socially Responsive changed its name to  Neuberger Berman Sustainable Equity (NBSLX) this month. Launched in 1994, the fund is one of the most successful SRI/ESG/sustainable funds ever, in my view. With $2.3 billion in current assets, plus more in other vehicles, the fund (Investor share class) has a 9.59% annualized 15-year return, net of fees, as of the end of April 2018, 4 basis points better per year than that of the S&P 500. No changes to the underlying strategy, just a name change and an update in the prospectus describing the fund’s approach:

"The Portfolio Managers employ a research driven and valuation sensitive approach to stock selection, with a focus on long term sustainability. This sustainable investment approach seeks to identify high quality, well-positioned companies with leadership that is focused on ESG as defined by best in class operating practices."

Jon Hale, Ph.D., CFA does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar's editorial policies.