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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

An SRI Pioneer Takes Its Second Mutual Fund Step

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

One of the pioneering firms of socially responsible investing just took its second ever step into the mutual fund space.

Matthew Patsky
Trillium Asset Management
Partner, Chief Executive Officer, Portfolio Manager
Last week Matt Patsky, CEO of Trillium Asset Management, unveiled the Trillium Small/Mid Cap Core Fund (TSMDX). Trillium acquired its first mutual fund, the Portfolio 21 Global Equity Fund [profile], at the end of last year as part of its asset purchase of Portfolio 21's business. All told Trillium has more than $2.3 billion in AUM, $398.8 million of which is in the Portfolio 21 mutual fund.

Trillium dates back to 1982, the early days of SRI (or ESG, environmental social governance). Prior to the Portfolio 21 deal, Trillium was primarily separately managed account shop, and its marketing was entirely word-of-mouth.

"In the last three years, we moved to try to put in place a more thoughtful approach to sales and marketing that involved us having more outreach," Patsky tells MFWire. "We became suddenly available on the broker-dealer networks."

Trillium's distribution partners have been asking for mutual fund versions of its strategies, as many FAs use SMAs for larger accounts and mutual funds for smaller ones. Then along came Portfolio 21, a firm whose distribution was almost entirely via its mutual fund. Patsky sees that as an advantage for Trillium with its second launch.

"We are going to start by going to all the carriers that have the Portfolio 21 strategy and asking them to carry this as part of the family," Patsky says.

Trillium has also subadvised the Green Century Balanced Fund since 2005, and Patsky is open to landing more subadvisory work. 

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