Rod Crane and Mary Brunson

Bridgeway Social Fund to Join with Calvert

Rod Crane and Mary Brunson

Calvert Group and Bridgeway Capital Management today announced a deal to request shareholder approval for a merger of the Bridgewater Social Responsibility Portfolio into the Calvert Large Cap Growth Fund. According to the terms of the agreement, Calvert will be responsible for the fund operations, social screening for companies, and oversight of management of the fund. Bridgeway will continue as sub-advisor to the Calvert Large Cap Growth Fund and will choose the securities to buy and sell.

"We are trying to tap into Calvert's outstanding social research department, their superb distribution network, and their much greater resources for shareholder advocacy," said John Montgomery, President of Bridgeway Capital and Portfolio Manager of the Bridgeway Social Responsibility Portfolio. "They [Calvert] are tapping into our investment management expertise."

Montgomery said an aggressive timeframe for the launch of the fund would be the end of October providing the merger is approved by shareholders. The Calvert fund that Bridgeway will be joining does not yet contain assets. Bridgeway's Socially Responsible Porfolio contains over $7.5 million. One of the early players in socially responsible funds, the Bridgeway fund was founded in 1994.

Bridgeway is the latest fund manager to tap Calvert's experience and reputation in the socially responsible mutual fund domain. In June, Vanguard launched the Vanguard Calvert Social Index Fund, which tracks the Calvert Social Index, an index that measures the performance of large- and mid-capitalization companies that meet certain social and environmental criteria. Vanguard's fund contains over $25 million. It's date of inception was May 31, 2000.

When asked about going head to head with the Vanguard Calvert Social Index Fund, Montgomery replied, "Based on historical data...this will probably be a harder benchmark to beat than the S&P 500 Index, our primary benchmark."

The Bridgeway Socially Responsible Portfolio, which has a five-star Morningstar rating, is one of six funds managed by the Houston-based Bridgeway. All companies with holdings in the fund are screened for track records in areas such as environmental policies, minority advancement, workplace issues, military contracts, and animal testing. Companies involved in the tobacco or military industries are automatically removed from the list of eligible companies.

The top ten holdings in the in the Bridgeway Social Responsibility Portfolio are listed in the table below:

Rank Company
% of net assets
1 Corning
4.4%
2 Advanced Micro Devices
4.3%
3 Corsair Communications
4.2%
4 Timberland
3.9%
5 Green Mountain Coffee
3.6%
6 Siebel Systems
3.5%
7 ADC Telecommunications
3.5%
8 Applied Materials
3.3%
9 Pacific Health Systems
3.2%
10 Bank of America
3.1%

 

*as of 6/30/2000

The average annual returns of the Bridgeway Social Responsibility Portfolio are listed in the table below:

Fund
YTD
1-Year
5-Year
Since inception (8/5/94)
Bridgeway Social Responsibility Portfolio
2.59%
37.64%
28.45%
27.20%
S&P 500
-0.42%
7.24%
23.80%
24.00%

*as of 6/30/2000

Montgomery will continue to pick the stocks in this active fund, and doesn't anticipate conflicts with Calvert's social criteria, which largely overlap Bridgeway's. Both companies place a particularly strong emphasis on the environment, animal rights, and social issues.

Bridgeway was founded in 1993 by Montgomery, a computer research engineer at MIT who, after receiving an MBA from Harvard Business School, applied his quantitative methods and computer modeling skills to researching the mutual fund industry. Bridgeway relies heavily on computer data research and has a policy in place whereby no employee, including Montgomery, can make more than seven times the total salary of the lowest paid employee. Montgomery also manages Bridgeway's ultra-small and ultra-large index funds.