CAMBRIDGE, Ontario Canada, – Meritas Financial Inc. announced the launch of four new socially responsible investment (SRI) mutual funds that will be available through Group Retirement Services, a division of Great-West Life Assurance Company and London Life Insurance Company. The funds include one balanced fund and three equity funds. Of the three equity funds, one invests in the Canadian market, one in the U.S. market, and one in the global market. The balanced fund allocates 40% of its assets to equities, and the remaining 60% is divided among fixed income vehicles that include money markets, mortgages, and bonds. The equity funds are modeled on Meritas’s existing equity funds: the Meritas Jantzi Social Index Fund, the Meritas U.S. Equity Fund, and the Meritas International Equity Fund. All four new funds apply the same “positive and negative screens” that Meritas employs on all its funds. Meritas’s exclusionary screens encompass alcohol, tobacco, military, gambling, pornography, and nuclear power production. Positive screens include environmental impact, aboriginal rights and concerns, corporate governance issues, domestic and international human rights policies, and gender equity, among others. Meritas funds also commit up to two percent of the assets in all their mutual funds to community investment in domestic and international community developments initiatives (CDIs). As well, Meritas practices shareowner action, engaging companies in dialogue to promote improved social, environmental, and ethical practices. Meritas was founded in April 2001 as a joint venture between the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (Ontario) Limited, the Mennonite Foundation of Canada, and Mennonite Mutual Aid.

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