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Rating:An $18B-AUM Subadvised Fund Firm Celebrates the Big Two-Oh Not Rated 5.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, August 26, 2021

An $18B-AUM Subadvised Fund Firm Celebrates the Big Two-Oh

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A subadvised, faith-based, Lone Star State mutual fund firm's team is about to celebrate a big anniversary.

David Scott Spika
GuideStone Capital Management
Tomorrow will be the 20th anniversary of the launch of the GuideStone Funds [profile] mutual fund family. The funds (24 in total now) reached $17.6 billion in AUM as of June 30, 2021. And David Spika, president of Dallas-based GuideStone Capital Management, notes that GuideStone is now "the largest Christian mutual fund company in America."

The roots of the fund firm's parent, GuideStone Financial Resources go back more than 100 years, to 1918. The non-profit was formed (as the Board of Ministerial Relief and Annuities), with seed money from the Baptist Sunday School Board and the Rockefellers, to help Southern Baptist churches' retired preachers and preachers' widows. Over the years, what is now GuideStone Financial Resources has grown to offer other services, like employee benefits and retirement plans, to those who work for Southern Baptist churches.

The GuideStone folks launched the AB Funds Trust in 2001, and the fund family debuted on August 27, 2001, "with a heart toward providing evangelical Christians with institutional quality registered mutual funds," Spika tells MFWire in an emailed statement. (After the parent organization, then-called the Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, rebranded to GuideStone Financial Resources in 2004, the funds rebranded as the GuideStone Funds in 2005.) Though the funds were initially exclusively for use by those in the Southern Baptist community (especially in 403(b)s, where they had previously used unregistered commingled funds), the GuideStone team later broadened the funds' distribution to the rest of the evangelical Christian community (in 2004) and eventually to the general public (in 2015).

The GuideStone team has always used a religious screening process with the funds. In recent years, they've expanded their process to include being engaged shareholders. They also offer an actively managed impact fund.

"Since our inception, we've been socially screened — not investing in any company publicly recognized as being in the alcohol tobacco, gambling, pornography and abortion industries or any company whose products, services or activities are publicly recognized as being incompatible with the moral and ethical posture of GuideStone," Spika writes. "About four years ago, we began actively advocating for our believes with companies."

"We've been on the front lines of advocating against opioid misuse in the United States and globally," Spike adds. "We've advocated around issues around child labor as well."

The GuideStone funds, Spika writes, align with a "core mission that states, 'We multiply Kingdom impact through Christian investment solutions.'"

"We are thankful first and foremost to the Lord for His blessings as we enter our third decade as a registered mutual fund family," Spike concludes. "We are grateful, too, for the 250,000 investors who entrust their financial resources to us." 

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