London Borough of Croydon Pension Fund, Croydon, England, is divesting its stock in tobacco companies following a decision to move to an ethical investment fund, said a news release by Croydon Council.
The £668 million ($1.1 billion) pension fund’s equity investment fund will instead be invested in a fund that excludes investment in industries linked to tobacco as well as nuclear power and weapons. Further information about the new fund, and its manager, could not be learned by press time.
As of March 31, 2013, the pension fund had about £347 million allocated to equity investments, its latest annual report said. The managers were Fidelity Investments, Franklin Templeton Investments, Global Thematic Partners and Sarasin & Partners.
“Having a pension fund that invests in tobacco was very much at odds with our responsibility to protect and improve public health in this borough, and there were clearly a number of concerns about the ethics of doing that,” said John Wentworth, member of the council and chairman of the pensions committee, in the news release. “Ensuring that the council is a socially responsible investor was a key manifesto pledge for the administration.”
Spokesmen for the pension fund did not respond to requests for comment by press time.