Parnassus Investments is launching three new no-load funds, including the Parnassus Workplace Fund. The Workplace Fund will invest on the idea that a company whose employers enjoy good work conditions will perform better in a long run.
"Companies which treat their employees well can be expected to provide superior products and services to their customers," said Parnassus President and founder Jerome L. Dodson.
Targets for potential investment will be analyzed on the criteria of equitable pay, training and educational opportunities, benefits, diversity, two-way communications and support of initiative. In addition to its own research, the firm will use already available sources such as Fortune magazine's annual survey, "The 100 Best Companies to Work For," and Working Mother magazine's annual "The 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers."
"Academic studies have suggested that there is a strong correlation between good workplaces and good companies," said Milton Moskowitz, co-author of the Fortune survey, who will also be employed as the new fund's consultant.
The Parnassus Workplace Fund is supposed to continue the mutual fund advisor's pioneered line of socially responsible investing. Along these lines, Workplace will refrain from investing in companies that manufacture alcohol or tobacco products, are involved with gambling, are weapons contractors or generate electricity from nuclear power, according to Parnassus's Web site.
The other two funds that the company is starting are mid-cap and small-cap funds. Parnassus has $1.3 billion under management, as of March 31.