When it comes to protecting shareholders' interests, mainstream and socially responsible investing (SRI) mutual fund managers agree: supporting corporate reforms is key; but when it comes to voting their proxies on other SRI issues, the two types of funds drift further apart, according to a recent study of mutual fund voting records published by The Corporate Library, an independent investment ratings company based in Portland, Maine.

Some experts say that the similarities point to the core ethics about which their underlying shareholders care most: corporate accountability, transparency, responsibility to shareholders and an independent board.

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