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Pru Offers Funds With A Conscience

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Prudential Financial Inc. is offering new mutual fund options for retirement-plan sponsors looking for “values-based” investment options for their participants.

The retirement division of Prudential, Newark, N.J., has introduced 3 new institutional subadvised funds that it says will be managed according to socially responsible investment principles.

The 3 funds–covering the large-cap value, large-cap growth and fixed-income asset classes–will be run by existing subadvisor partners within Prudential Retirement’s Manager-of-Managers program. In addition to assessing investment options based on downside risk and other established criteria, the new funds also will be evaluated for their investments in companies that avoid business practices that may be viewed as detrimental to society or in violation of moral beliefs, Prudential says. The funds will also be encouraged, “consistent with their investment objectives,” to invest in firms that respect human rights; demonstrate a commitment to the communities in which they operate; and show leadership in diversity, environmental protection and corporate governance, says Prudential.

KLD Research and Analytics Inc., Boston, will assist Pru in choosing and overseeing the values-based funds.