ING’s U.S. Retirement Services business will offer the ESG Managers Portfolios, socially responsible asset allocation portfolios from Pax World Management and sub-advised by Morningstar, to the defined contribution plans it administers.

The portfolios integrate environmental, social and governance factors into their investment analysis. Until now, they have only been available through financial advisers. ING is the first defined contribution provider to offer these funds to plan participants, and the firm will initially make the funds available only to its 403(b) and 457 education, government, healthcare and not-for-profit market segments.

“Our plan sponsors have told us they want more socially responsible investment choices for their employees,” said Brian Comer, president of public markets for ING U.S. Retirement Services. “At the same time, there is a growing need for greater asset allocation and risk diversification features. Working with Pax and Morningstar to deliver this unique offering addresses both requirements. We’re making it easier to select a socially responsible investment while providing a multi-managed, fund-of-funds approach to help diversify risk.”

Peng Chen, president of Morningstar’s investment management division, noted that since 2000, assets in socially responsible mutual funds have grown nearly 150%.

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