Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 138, Issue 2, pp 263–277 | Cite as

What is Different about Socially Responsible Funds? A Holdings-Based Analysis

  • Jacquelyn E. HumphreyEmail author
  • Geoffrey J. Warren
  • Junyan Boon


We provide a comprehensive analysis of differences between socially responsible investment (SRI) and conventional funds in terms of manager characteristics, performance and fund styles. We use holdings-based analysis to evaluate fund performance and style, which allows us to perform a more in-depth analysis than the extant literature. We find that SRI managers have longer tenure and are more likely to be a female. However, these differences do not result in any significant difference in the performance of SRI and conventional funds. Further, it is possible to find an SRI fund of any style, although these funds are under-represented in value styles.


Manager skill Mutual funds Socially responsible investing 



The authors thank Keryn Chalmers, Cessare Fracassi, Yves Jégourel, Laura Starks, Sheridan Titman and workshop participants at the FIRN FEW mentoring workshop, Université Montesquieu-Bordeaux IV, University of Newcastle, University of Queensland and University of Texas at Austin for helpful comments. We also thank Saphira Rekker for research assistance and Alan McCrystal for help with programming. Much of this research was conducted while the authors were based at the Research School of Finance, Actuarial Studies and Applied Statistics at the Australian National University and we thank that school for financial and academic support for this paper. An earlier version of this paper was circulated as “Skill and style in socially responsible portfolios: a holdings-based analysis”. This paper reflects the views of the authors and not of the Centre for International Finance and Regulation or Oliver Wyman.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacquelyn E. Humphrey
    • 1
    Email author
  • Geoffrey J. Warren
    • 2
  • Junyan Boon
    • 3
  1. 1.UQ Business SchoolThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for International Finance and RegulationSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Oliver WymanSingaporeSingapore

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