A New Spin on ESG (Economic, Social and Governance) ETFs

Exchange traded funds and other strategies that incorporate Economic, Social and Governance, or ESG, are increasingly popular with investors and issuers are obliging with an array of new ETFs adhering to ESG investing principles.

Last week, SerenityShares, a unit of SerenityShares Investments, a Washington-DC based registered investment advisor, introduced the SerenityShares IMPACT ETF (NYSEArca: ICAN). The new ETF “aims to identify firms whose activities benefit society and the planet while excluding investments in traditional areas of ESG concern such as tobacco, offensive weapons, and fossil fuel (oil, gas, and coal) exploration,” according to a statement from SerenityShares.

ICAN starts with “a list of all 6500+ companies listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ, screens are applied to (a) eliminate companies involved with tobacco; weapons; oil, gas, and coal exploration; and (b) select companies that meet our market cap (>$1.5B), price (>$5/sh), and liquidity screens. We then review all remaining companies to identify firms whose activities have a direct, beneficial impact that addresses a societal, social, or environmental challenge,” according to the issuer.