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Note From The Editor: September 2016


In this month’s issue, our Investments Committee decided to focus on the theme of impact investing. And, based on the articles in this Report, it’s safe to say that it’s possible for clients to make money while investing in companies and funds that have a positive social and environmental effect. In fact, taking these considerations into account can help improve a client’s portfolio. For example, in “Environmental Productivity,” p. 30, Timothy P. Dunn and Amy E. Dine explain that a company’s environmental productivity is an essential piece of data investors should consider when researching a company. And, in “Understanding the World of Impact Investing,”
p. 20, Tom Mitchell explains how sophisticated investors are using this strategy and its influence in the future. In addition, even the Department of Labor (DOL) has weighed in and legitimized impact investing. In “Prudent Sustainable and Responsible Investing,” p. 37, by Suzanne L. Shier and Benjamin J. Lavin, the authors review the DOL guidance on socially responsible investing for fiduciaries managing employee benefit plans.

We also have an important birthday to celebrate this month. The estate tax has turned 100! In honor of the occasion, we’ve created a Special Report. Two of our editorial board members, Jonathan G. Blattmachr and Turney P. Berry, discuss the pros and cons of the estate tax in “Should It Stay or Should It Go?” p. 52. And, Patricia M. Soldano and Michael Palicz go back to the very beginning and take us through the history of the tax in “A Historic Overview of Legislation,” p. 49. 

Finally, as most of you know by now, the Treasury has issued proposed regulations on Internal Revenue Code Section 2704. We’ll have continued coverage of this development, starting with this month’s Tax Law Update (p. 9). We also have a webinar scheduled on this topic on Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. Eastern time with Jonathan G. Blattmachr and Howard M. Zaritsky. Look out for our registration announcements. 

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