Home > Uncategorized > £50m tobacco shares in Northern Ireland fund

£50m tobacco shares in Northern Ireland fund

UUP chair would encourage ethical investment – Local – Londonderry Sentinel.

 

This article from Londonderry states that the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers Pension Fund has £40m invested in BAT and £10m in Imperial Tobacco.

However, most noteworthy is this quote:

NILGOSC Chief Executive and Secretary David Murphy recently told the Sentinel it was “legally prevented from excluding any type of company for ethical reasons. This is not unusual as this law applies to all general pension funds.”

I’m not familiar with Northern Irish law, but if it is similar to English law then this is absolutely not the case.  In fact, by law, pension funds have to consider whether or not to apply any ethical principles to their investment decisions.  Nor do pension funds in the Local Government Pension Scheme have to reject ethical investment on the grounds that they have an overriding interest to maximise returns for the scheme members.  Funds which do this adopt a far too narrow interpretation of fiduciary duty.  A very good example of a LGPS fund which has adopted an ethical stance in keeping with the ethos of the organisation is the Environment Agency.  It can be done!  And without detriment to the overall performance of the fund.

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