2008 Press Releases
FOLIOfn Teams with Genocide Intervention Network and Launches First Ever Genocide-Free Stock Screening Tool
VIENNA, Virginia –The Genocide Intervention Network and FOLIOfn Investments® are proud to announce the launch of the first stock screening tool that empowers investors to build investment portfolios free of companies profiting from and supporting genocide in Sudan. This tool enables individual investors and investment advisors to automatically screen out companies on the Genocide Intervention Network’s “Highest Offenders” list—the companies that support conflict in Sudan at the expense of the country’s marginalized populations. Currently, only a handful of these “highest offender” companies are currently tradable at FOLIOfn Investments, Inc. but the screen will ensure that they, and any others subsequently included on the list, are automatically screened out of portfolios by those utilizing the new screen. In addition, FOLIOfn Investments, Inc. will use the screen in the preparation of its own Ready-To-Go Folios that FOLIOfn Investments offers free of charge to its customers.
FOLIOfn is the first firm to offer a genocide-free stock screen. The “Highest Offenders,” excluded by the screen, represent a small subset of companies operating in Sudan: their operations negatively impact the political or humanitarian situation in Sudan while offering minimal benefit to Sudan’s disadvantaged populations. Furthermore, the “Highest Offenders” have proven to be largely unresponsive to engagement by shareholders.
Mark Hanis, executive director of the Genocide Intervention Network, noted that “FOLIOfn’s new screening tool will enable investors to take positive steps toward ending the genocide in Darfur and engaging companies to act on these issues throughout the world. The Folio Investing model makes it easier and more cost-effective for people to invest well, and invest with their values.”
“Folios are the next generation of investing. They offer numerous benefits to investors, including diversification, tax management capabilities, and control of their investments. This tool is an example of the benefits of that control. By knowing what they own—and caring about it—investors can have an influence on their world,” stated Steven M.H. Wallman, founder and CEO of FOLIOfn.
Individual investors can create their own Folios or pick from over 100 Ready-To-Go Folios®, based on indices, geographies, sectors, themes, and even target dates. Folios differ from mutual funds, in that they are not registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and are managed by the individual owner or investment advisor.
Currently, three “Highest Offenders” trade on major U.S. exchanges and are screened out by the new tool. They are China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation or Sinopec Corporation (SNP), PetroChina (PTR), and Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co. (SHI). This list of securities is expected to change over time as the Genocide Intervention Network periodically reviews and updates its “Highest Offenders” list.
The new FOLIO Investing stock screen is a unique tool for individual investors and complements the Genocide Intervention Network’s mutual fund screening tool. The fund tool identifies whether a mutual fund, based on the most recent fund data available, holds stocks that are on the divestment list, compiled by the Genocide Intervention Network.
About Genocide Intervention Network (www.genocideintervention.net)
The Genocide Intervention Network (GI-NET) is working to build the first permanent anti-genocide constituency in the United States, mobilizing the political will to stop genocide when it occurs. GI-NET empowers individuals with tools to stop genocide through education, fundraising for civilian protection and advocacy efforts.
As the coordinating entity for the targeted Sudan divestment movement, the Sudan Divestment Task Force (SDTF), a project of GI-NET, provides support for individuals, public fiduciaries, asset managers and government officials who are participating in targeted Sudan divestment campaigns around the world. SDTF has developed a unique and financially sound approach to shareholder engagement and divestment, focusing efforts on the most problematic and risk prone companies in Sudan. This approach, termed targeted Sudan divestment, recently was authorized by the United States government. It helps to maximize impact on the Sudanese government while minimizing potential harm to both innocent Sudanese civilians and investment returns. SDTF also provides company research and corporate engagement assistance to thousands of fiduciaries worldwide, representing more than U.S. $3 trillion in total assets.
About Folio Investing
Folio Investing, a division of FOLIOfn Investments, Inc., is an online brokerage that enables investors to manage stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds as integrated investment portfolios called “Folios” that deliver better control, greater transparency, and lower cost. Investors can create their own Folios, much like creating personalized ETFs or mutual funds, or invest in over 100 Ready-to-Go Folios representing market indices, sectors, geographical regions, target dates, and more. The Folio Unlimited Plan features unlimited commission-free trading in twice-daily windows for only $29 a month or $290 a year. Ready-to-Go Folios can be managed or unmanaged, are not registered investment companies, and are offered by FOLIOfn Investments, Inc., a registered broker-dealer. FOLIOfn Investments, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, or legal advice. FOLIOfn Investments, Inc., is a member of FINRA/SIPC.