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Boston Common Asset Management Review

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Boston Common Asset Management, LLC

Boston Common Asset Management is a women-led and majority employee-owned company. The financial advisor firm is based in Boston with more than $2.8 billion in assets under management (AUM).

The firm's 14 advisors principally engage in investment portfolio management through a variety of different strategies, with a particular focus on socially responsible investing (SRI). These are largely based on equity investments in various market sectors and capitalizations. The firm also manages its own mutual funds and private commingled investment vehicles.

Boston Common Asset Management operates as a fee-only firm, as the entirety of its compensation comes from client-based fees. This is much different from a fee-based firm, which also receives outside forms of compensation like insurance commissions. By skipping out on such commissions, a fee-only firm like Boston Common Asset Management avoids many conflicts of interest.   

Boston Common Asset Management Background

Boston Common Asset Management was founded in Boston in 2002 by Geeta Aiyer, the firm's president. Aiyer and her colleagues place an emphasis on impact investing and socially responsible investing. The firm is female-led and mostly owned by its employees, though Aiyer is the principal shareholder. Third-party holding company Rosemont Partners III, LP claims about a fifth of the firm's shares.

Of Boston Common's 14 financial advisors, nine hold the chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation. There is also a certified financial planner (CFP) at the firm.

Boston Common Asset Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Boston Common manages accounts for high-net-worth individuals, investment companies, pooled investment vehicles, retirement plans and charitable organizations. Of the firm's almost 330 clients, 65% are individuals with a high net worth.

The minimum account sizes at Boston Common Asset Management vary substantially by account type and investment strategy:

  • Separate Accounts
    • U.S. Core and Value Equity: $1,000,000
    • Balanced and Multi-Asset: No specific minimum
    • International (EAFE) and Global (ACWI): $5,000,000
    • International (ACWI x U.S.): $10,000,000
    • Emerging Markets (EM): $10,000,000
    • Separate Small-Cap Equity: $5,000,000
  • Mutual Funds
    • Boston Common International Fund (BCAIX): $10,000
    • Boston Common U.S. Equity Fund (BCAMX): $10,000
  • Private Commingled Strategies
    • Boston Common All Country International Equity: $2,000,000 (only available solely to accredited investors)
    • Boston Common International Equity: $2,000,000 (only available solely to accredited investors)
    • Boston Common International Catholic: $2,000,000 (only available solely to accredited investors)
    • Boston Common International Sustainable Climate: $1,000,000
    • Boston Common Sustainable Emerging Markets (EM): $1,000,000 (only available solely to accredited investors)
    • Boston Common Global Impact: $1,000,000 (only available solely to accredited investors)
    • Boston Common Small-Cap: $250,000

The firm reserves the right to waive or negotiate any of these minimums.

Services Offered by Boston Common Asset Management

There are a wide range of financal services available through Boston Common Asset Management. The firm's portfolio management offerings include separate accounts, mutual fund management and private commingled strategies. It offers portfolio management on a discretionary basis for clients with AUM, but also provides non-discretionary consulting.

Boston Common Asset Management Investment Philosophy

Boston Common Asset Management places a strong emphasis on taking into account environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into their investing strategies. The firm begins its portfolio construction process by doing in-depth research on domestic and international equity markets. It looks at various market capitalizations, growth potential, debt and other factors. The firm constructs large data sets with the information its advisors compile, which it then uses to cross reference and flesh out client portfolios.

Boston Common Asset Management Fees

Boston Common has a different fee schedule for almost all of its accounts, strategies and mutual funds. Although they're shown in annual percentages, the firm charges fees on a quarterly basis.

Boston Common Asset Management Fees
Strategy Annual Fee Range
U.S. Core and Value Equity 0.30% - 0.90%
International (EAFE) and Global (ACWI) 0.30% - 0.90%
International (ACWI x U.S.) 0.45% - 0.95%
Emerging Markets 0.70% - 1.20%
Separate Small-Cap Equity 1.00% - 1.10% or negotiable
Separate International & International Value Accounts 0.70% - 1.00% or negotiable
Boston Common All Country International Equity 0.55% - 1.05%
Boston Common International Equity 0.50% - 1.00%
Boston Common International Catholic 0.50% - 1.00%
Boston Common International Sustainable Climate 0.55% - 1.05%
Boston Common Sustainable Emerging Markets (EM) 0.70% - 1.20%
Boston Common Global Catholic Positive Equity 0.55% - 1.00%
Boston Common Small-Cap 1.00% - 1.10%

 

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount. Fee amounts are based on fee percentages for U.S. Core and Value Equity accounts.
Estimated Investment Management Fees at Boston Common Asset Management*
Your Assets Boston Common Asset Management Fee Amount
$500K N/A
$1MM $9,000
$5MM $37,500
$10MM $67,000

What to Watch Out For

Boston Common Asset Management does not have any disclosures listed on its Form ADV. One thing to consider, however, is that the firm doesn't offer financial planning advisory services. If you're looking for a firm that does, our free advisor matching tool can help you find the right fit. 

Opening an Account With Boston Common Asset Management

If you're interested in working with Boston Common Asset Management, you can go its website and submit a form at the bottom of the page. If you'd prefer to speak over the phone with a representative, call (617) 720-5557.

All information is accurate as of the writing of this article. 

Tips for Financial Planning

  • While Boston Common Asset Management's minimums may be too high for some investors, there are plenty of advisor firms with more attainable account minimums. Finding the right financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • If your primary financial goal is a secure retirement, then a good first step is determining how much money you need to put away. Use our retirement calculator to see if you're on pace to retire when you want (and how much more you need to save).

How Many Years $1 Million Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Least
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research