Dear Reader News Article

Dear Reader

Cheryl Smith, Ph.D., CFA, President
For investors who seek out sustainability, cycles of birth, death, and rebirth are everywhere.  The rapidly waning light as we approach the winter solstice calls to mind the Greek goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone; Demeter’s sorrow at the loss of her daughter led to winter for the earth.  However deep and dark and endless the winter seems, eventually Persephone’s return from Hades each year brings spring and renewal.
We are accustomed to economic and market cycles, but the October 2007 – March 2009 stock market decline was the most wrenching in decades.  Many people began to anticipate a frightening future following in the wake of a total financial and economic collapse.  And yet, we are finally seeing signs of recovery – housing sales very slowly starting to recover and consumers venturing out of their houses into markets.  The stock market’s activity since March has preceded it, and we’re happy to see it.
At Trillium, we are seeing our own cycle of renewal and growth.  In October, we were extremely pleased to welcome our new CEO, Matthew Patsky, CFA.  While in one sense Matt is new to Trillium, in another sense his own career harvests the seeds that Joan Bavaria planted.  Matt was an early subscriber to Investing for a Better World, in its previous incarnation as Franklin’s Insight. Joan co-created and co-founded the Social Investment Forum and Ceres, two organizations that harrowed the ground and fertilized the soil for social and environmental investors.   I was an early employee of Trillium, and I remember our concern that Joan expended so much of her time and energy outside of the company – didn’t she know that we needed her at Trillium?  Yet Joan continued to give her time and her effort to the world at large – encouraging investors, encouraging research analysts, gently – and not so gently – prodding companies to create a better, cleaner, greener, and more just world.  Matt is one of the many people Joan encouraged along the way.  He comes to Trillium eager to extend and grow Trillium’s expertise in research, advocacy, and community investment.  He is a member of the Social Venture Network, and an active board member for Root Capital, which provides financing to sustainable businesses in the developing world.
So we at Trillium are now reaping Joan’s harvest.  Her generosity to others has built the overall field, and we benefit from her efforts so many years ago.  Matt brings a wealth of experience as an analyst, as a portfolio manager, and as a colleague.  We’ve added to our research staff, and are busy developing our advocacy plans for the spring proxy season.  At Trillium, we are all invigorated, enthusiastic, and very glad to have Matt leading us as we work together to build a better and more just world.  We hope that you will join us in this next cycle of renewal!