Screen test for ethical investors

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The Independent Online
INVESTORS in equities seeking ethical options for their funds are being offered a specialist stockbroking service that screens companies, writes Nic Cicutti.

Holden Meehan, a financial adviser specialising in ethical investments, has teamed up with Albert E Sharp, a stockbroker, to offer the service.

Clients decide on the ethical criteria they want their portfolio to meet. The investment manager then decides on the most effective spread of investments after those criteria are met.

Holden Meehan warns that for direct investment in equities to be cost-effective, investments of about pounds 100,000 are needed.

Smaller sums would have to be invested in a range of ethical unit trusts and other funds available from a number of companies.

Eagle Star's Environmental Opportunities Trust has been in the top 25 per cent of the 118 unit trusts in its sector in the five years since its launch. The company is offering to allocate an extra 1 per cent of any investment into its unit trust up to 29 July.

Friends Provident offers its own Stewardship Unit Trust, an ethical fund which reached its 10th anniversary last month. Over 10 years, pounds 1,000 in the fund would have grown to pounds 3,921, outperforming the average UK equity growth unit trust by pounds 261. Friends Provident is giving 1 per cent on the trust's offer price for all investments over pounds 5,000 up to 31 October.

Holden Meehan 071-404 6442; Eagle Star 0242 271658; Friends Provident 0722 413366.

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