Philosophy in the Contemporary World

Volume 10, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2003

Fiduciary Ethics

Johann A. Klaassen, George R. Gay
Pages 49-54

Fiduciary Duty and Socially Responsible Investing

Most discussions of fiduciary duty focus on medical decision-making, but that is not the only context in which the concept is important. Investment advisers have fiduciary duties to their clients: in this essay, we address those duties. Many advisers refuse to help their clients with ‘socially responsible’ investment plans, for a variety of reasons, among which are fiduciary concerns. We argue that the reasons generally given not to pursue a religious, environmental, or social investment strategy are mistaken, and, most importantly, that an investment adviser’s fiduciary duties may be met while providing such alternatives to clients.