Boston-based Eaton Vance Corp. announced plans Friday to acquire the business assets of Calvert Investment Management, a fund manager that invests in socially and environmentally responsible companies. The move is another sign of the growing trend of socially responsible investments (SRI) and investor demand for such strategies.
"As part of Eaton Vance, we see tremendous potential for Calvert to extend its leadership position among responsible investment managers," Eaton Vance Chairman and CEO Thomas E. Faust Jr. said in a statement. "By applying our management and distribution resources and oversight, we believe Eaton Vance can help Calvert become a meaningfully larger, better and more impactful company."
Many traditional fund managers have made concerted efforts to get into the SRI and impact investing space in recent years, including BlackRock, Vanguard and Legg Mason. U.S. investment managers now have about $6.6 trillion in assets in SRI products, according to Tiburon Strategic Advisors. That’s up from $3 trillion in 2010.
Bethesda, Md.–based Calvert, currently an indirect subsidiary of Ameritas Holding Company, has about $12 billion in assets under management in funds and separate accounts. The funds business includes actively and passively managed U.S. and international equity strategies, fixed income strategies and asset allocation funds, all run in accordance with the Calvert Principles for Responsible Investment. The manager seeks companies that provide positive business leadership in their operations and that are working to improve societal outcomes.
If the deal goes through, Calvert Funds’ board of trustees will recommend shareholders approve investment advisory contracts with a newly formed Eaton Vance affiliate, Calvert Research and Management. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Calvert was established in 1976, and in 1982, it launched the first mutual fund to oppose investing in South Africa’s apartheid system—the Calvert Social Investment Fund (now Calvert Balanced Portfolio).
The deal is expected to close around Dec. 31.