Founded in 1990, we have three decades of experience in wealth management with a socially responsible focus. At the outset, we designed a sophisticated screening method to keep responsible companies in our clients' portfolios and keep the bad ones out (no military contracts, nuclear involvement, or environmental degradation). But when market conditions argued for NorthStar to invest more broadly in large and mega-cap companies, we needed to reevaluate the ways investors could have true impact on social change when buying the best of the pack.
In 1993, NorthStar began to focus more attention on the shareholder proxy process in an effort to hold large companies accountable for their behavior. Initially we encouraged our clients to vote their proxies by publishing the NorthStar Proxy Voting Guide. This was the first booklet of its kind that helped clients cross-reference their stock holdings with pending social resolutions and vote according to their values. But then we began to vote proxies on behalf of our clients, leading to our work as shareholder activists.
Since 2000 we have sponsored resolutions on issues of predatory lending, executive compensation, board and senior management diversity, equal rights, environmental practices, political spending, LGBT rights, prison labor in the supply chain, and the human right to water. NorthStar is a leader in the shareholder activism field. We believe that when shareholders and the public are educated about an issue, they will be more likely to hold the company accountable for its actions and policies. Read more about our work on our Creating Change webpage.
In 2013, we began offering an integrated capital focus to our clients, which is described in more detail in the "Outside Investments" section of our Creating Change webpage. During that year, we also became a permanent presence in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston by securing a building in the heart of the community and by initiating our financial literacy classes. In 2016 NorthStar became a Certified B Corp. You can view our B Corp Impact Report through the Creating Change webpage.
NorthStar is committed to minimizing its impact on the environment through waste and emission reduction, energy efficiency, promoting sustainable practices both internally and amongst clients and suppliers. NorthStar will continually evaluate its current operations, and strives to improve its environmental performance and implement sustainable business practices.
Our understanding of what socially responsible investing means and how it’s practiced have evolved dramatically over time. Our multi-faceted approach to creating real change digs deeply into the financial ecosystem to find ways we can act on behalf of our clients and ourselves to promote social change.