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Porn Perils Of A Socially Responsible Texas Pension Fund Trustee

Greg Poole finds himself in the unusual position of being a socially responsible activist at a pension fund.

Greg Poole finds himself in the unusual position of being a socially responsible activist at a pension fund. The American-Statesman reports that Poole, a high-school principal in Conroe, Texas, is pressing his fellow trustees of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas to take a stand on whether the $94 billion pension fund should ban investing in what he considers socially unacceptable companies, such as those that produce pornography. This type of activism is usually the domain of socially responsible mutual funds, and rarely the type of activity pension plans engage in. The TRST already has such investments, and he believes they could be eliminated without harming the fund, which is diversified. Already, Poole has successfully gotten two private equity firms it invests with, Lion Capital and Apollo Investments to stop pouring money into porn. The fear now, however, is that individual sensitivities toward other social mores, such as explicit rap lyrics, and even the mere definition of what constitutes porn will complicate any effort to reach a consensus on what types of investments should be avoided.

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