Interview with Bob Doll of Crossmark Global Investments


We at Cornerstone Management are pleased to release the second installment of our Faith-Driven Asset Manager Interview series.  In this series, we are speaking to those leading the way in making Biblically Responsible Investing strategies available to investors. Winters Richwine, Chief Operating Officer of Cornerstone Management, spoke with Bob Doll, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Crossmark Global Investments. We hope you enjoy the conversation.

Crossmark has been managing values-based investment strategies for nearly 30 years.  How have you seen faith-based investing change over that time?

Over the years, we have been excited to see new innovations in faith-based investing, particularly in the area of inclusionary investment screening. The ability to not just avoid the negative but to also embrace those companies that are doing good is an important advancement in our space, especially given that it is much more difficult to implement.  

How do you help investors understand that there doesn’t have to be a tradeoff between investment performance and incorporating one’s values into their portfolio?

In many cases investors don’t have to give up performance in the long run in order to invest according to their values and there is significant and growing empirical evidence to show that.  At Crossmark, we show our clients the impact (positive or negative) that the client’s screening parameters had on the performance of their account each quarter.  We believe that investors should not be surprised about how, if at all, the performance of their portfolio will be impacted by aligning their portfolio with values.

For truly faith-based investors, I would also add that there is never a tradeoff in the long run between doing things God’s way, and doing things some other way.  When viewed in light of eternity (the ultimate long run time horizon), no one will ever come out behind by being obedient to God.

Crossmark offers a broader set of faith-based investment strategies than most firms.  What goes into launching a new product?

For us, everything we do at Crossmark revolves around the client.  So first and foremost is to answer the question, “do our clients have a need that we are not currently addressing?”  If the answer is yes, then we set about defining the investment thesis that meets that need and ascertain whether or not we have the ability to manage that product, irrespective of faith-based or values-based screening.  We believe that faith-based investment products must be able to stand up to the rigors of traditional quantitative and qualitative due diligence before incorporating values-based elements.  When we are satisfied that the product can compete effectively as a non-values-based strategy, then and only then do we take the final step of incorporating faith-based or values-based elements into the strategy.

In leading your team, how do you navigate the investment industry’s performance pressures within a Christian culture?

Our view is that when you bring the best, most qualified talent together as a team, tell them to serve our clients with an unwavering commitment, and then give them the freedom to execute on that mandate, that team is going to do some amazing things for its clients in spite of the industry’s performance pressures.  And as a faith-based firm, we believe that we don’t go alone.  God is with us and for us and actively working on our behalf.

Cornerstone Management is not affiliated with Crossmark Global Investments.

Winters Richwine headshot 1
Winters Richwine