Friends Vilas-Fischer Trust Co., New York, has launched an ethical- investment portfolio for institutions and wealthy individuals.

The portfolio, dubbed Friends Stewardship Trust, was seeded with $30 million in September and launched in May. It requires a $500,000 minimum investment.

Friends Vilas-Fischer manages $1.9 billion of assets, invested mostly in U.S. large-cap stocks. Its parent, London-based Friends Provident, manages $28 billion of assets, primarily in "socially responsible" investments.

The managers of the new fund said they hope that Friends Provident's roots-which go back to the Quaker Religious Society of Friends-will help them market to socially responsible investors, such as religious and charitable organizations.

The Friends portfolio managers are working with outside experts, including Quaker leaders and business analysts, to screen their investments, said J. Robert Bloom, chief investment officer of Friends Vilas-Fischer.

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