Pools make their position on Russia crystal clear

April, 2022 Print

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine has prompted widespread condemnation of the aggressor, and articulation of support for the nation under attack.

It has also encouraged many of the investment pools and individual funds to issue statements on their position on Russian investments.

“We are deeply saddened by the situation in Ukraine and our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people,” said Councillor Clive Lloyd on behalf of the Wales Pension Partnership and the LGPS in Wales.

“Our total exposure to Russian Investments is minimal at less than 1%. Even so, in light of the terrible events we have witnessed and the economic sanctions imposed internationally, as a collective we have decided to divest from these holdings as soon as is practically possible.”

“Given the circumstances we do not believe that engagement with these companies presents a viable option,” Lloyd continued.

LGPS Central has instructed external managers not to increase existing exposures to Russia and Belarus and is considering exiting from existing Russian exposures, balancing market limitations with fiduciary responsibilities.

It will also review portfolios to identify any indirect Russian exposures to inform engagement, voting and ongoing discussions with external managers and keep the situation under close scrutiny.

Jason Fletcher, CIO of London CIV said: “Our priority has been to identify all sources of direct exposure to any Russian and Belarus entities and work in partnership with investment managers to assess the implications of the invasion, and the sanctions and other measures announced since then.”

London CIV does not see Russia as an investable proposition for the foreseeable future as this is at odds with its responsible investment policy and investment beliefs and will make no further investment, selling out of current positions when appropriate.

A meeting of the 11 local authorities of the Access pool voted unanimously to condemn the Russian invasion in the strongest possible terms.

Direct Russian investment within the Access pool has always been low, and at 1 March 2022, was just 0.05% of pooled assets.

All Russian stocks have been excluded from major indices, and the value of Access pool holdings in local Russian shares, ADRs and GDRs has been written down to zero.

“The situation in Ukraine is horrifying to us from a humanitarian perspective. Our first hope is for peace and for an end to so much unnecessary suffering,” said David Vickers, CIO at Brunel.

Brunel has prohibited any new investments in Russian assets and will disinvest from all Russian controlled and owned assets as practicable. There will be no differentiation between state owned and private assets.

Additionally, Brunel will engage with non-Russian assets that have material revenues/profits derived from Russia.

 

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