Press Release

Berkshire Launches Socially Responsible Investing Portfolios

Company Release -
12/8/2021 8:30 AM ET
Offering Empowers Clients to Create a Meaningful Impact on Communities by Aligning Financial Goals with Positive Environmental and Social Outcomes

BOSTON, Dec. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: BHLB), the parent company of Berkshire Bank, a socially responsible community-dedicated bank with branch locations in New England and New York, announced the launch of a new suite of investment solutions designed to help people of all backgrounds align their investments with positive environmental and social outcomes. Offered through Berkshire Wealth Management, these new Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Portfolios further strengthen Berkshire's commitment to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors that demonstrate the sustainability, impact and ethical nature of its business as part of its BEST Community Comeback

Berkshire built its SRI portfolios to include mission-aligned companies with solid track records across ESG metrics and strong fundamental attributes that positively contribute to the long-term sustainability of communities, making them ideally suited for individual, institutional and non-profit clients. In alignment with Berkshire's commitment to social responsibility, Berkshire Wealth Management does not require a minimum amount of assets, which is differentiated in the industry.

"We believe where you invest matters," said Kathryn Hersey, CFA, Berkshire's Director of Wealth Management & Chief Investment Officer. "This suite of sustainable portfolios allows investors to take an active approach to investing in companies committed to advancing environmental and social progress, which in turn leads to more capital directed toward these companies and a positive ripple effect in our communities. Offering investment solutions that contribute to the long-term health of our communities is deeply aligned with our vision of being the leading socially responsible community bank in the markets we serve."

Fueled by increased interest from institutional and individual investors, socially responsible investing is experiencing record growth with global assets rising 42% between 2018-2020.1 Berkshire's SRI Portfolios are constructed to maximize impact through an extensive due diligence process that leverages multiple ESG data aggregators, alongside proprietary research and company engagement, consistent with Berkshire's own Responsible & Sustainable Business Policy. This helps address the challenges of accurately measuring a portfolio's impact and ensuring that holdings align with investor objectives.

"We believe that by incorporating ESG factors into our research process, we are able to identify issues that impact long term stock performance," added Hersey.  "Organizations that more effectively manage and mitigate these comprehensive risks can generate positive, sustainable returns and long-term outperformance, ultimately benefiting our clients, communities, and world."

Berkshire Wealth Management provides purpose-driven investment management, financial planning, and estate management solutions with a focused approach on supporting client relationships through a concentration on wellness, financial health, community, and sustainable and responsible investment. The team recently added key positions within the group to help strengthen the new suite of socially and environmentally responsible investment solutions and enhance financial planning and educational offerings.

Berkshire Hills Bancorp is the parent of Berkshire Bank, which is transforming what it means to bank its neighbors socially, humanly, and digitally to empower the financial potential of people, families, and businesses in its communities as it pursues its vision of being the leading socially responsible omni-channel community bank in the markets it serves. Berkshire Bank provides business and consumer banking, mortgage, wealth management, and investment services.

Headquartered in Boston, Berkshire has approximately $11.8 billion in assets and operates 106 branch offices in New England and New York, and is a member of the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index. To learn more, call 800-773-5601 or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

This document contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. You can identify these statements from the use of the words "may," "will," "should," "could," "would," "plan," "potential," "estimate," "project," "believe," "intend," "anticipate," "expect," "target" and similar expressions. There are many factors that could cause actual results to differ significantly from expectations described in the forward-looking statements. For a discussion of such factors, please see Berkshire's most recent reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available on the SEC's website at Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which reflect our expectations only as of the date of this document. Berkshire does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements.

Alison Skratt, Head of Communications

Kevin Conn, SVP, Investor Relations & Corporate Development
Tel: (617) 641-9206

David Gonci, Capital Markets Director
Tel: (413) 281-1973

1 US SIF Trends Report 2020 Executive Summary

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SOURCE Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc.

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