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Super Fund, AMP exclude weapons

Fund managers are adding exclusions in line with New Zealand's new gun laws.

Friday, April 12th 2019, 3:44PM

Companies involved in the manufacture of civilian automatic and semi-automatic firearms, magazines or parts prohibited under New Zealand law have been excluded from the $41 billion NZ Super Fund.

The move by the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, the Crown entity that manages the Fund, reflects the passing of the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines and Parts) Amendment Bill in Parliament

Under the Guardians’ Responsible Investment Framework, decisions about ethical exclusions take account of New Zealand law.

Chief executive Matt Whineray said the Guardians moved swiftly to review its exclusion policy and portfolio following the announcement of the Government’s intention to introduce gun control legislation.

The Guardians has worked with its external service provider MSCI ESG Research to identify companies captured by the new exclusion category. It will divest $19m of investments in American Outdoor Brands Corporation, Daicel Corporation, NOF Corp, OLIN Corp, Richemont Sturm, Ruger & Company and Vista Outdoor.

The Guardians updates its exclusion list on a six-monthly basis and it is possible that more companies will be identified for exclusion in the future.

The fund already excluded companies involved in the manufacture of cluster munitions, the manufacture or testing of nuclear explosive devices, the manufacture of anti-personnel mines, the manufacture of tobacco, the processing of whale meat and recreational cannabis.

AMP is also excluding any direct investments in companies which are associated with the manufacturing of firearms and components banned under the amendment to the Firearms Bill.

Jeff Ruscoe, AMP’s chief client officer, says “Like other KiwiSaver providers who invest through a range of underlying fund managers, AMP has indirect investments in some large global companies, including very small holdings in some civilian weapons manufacturers.

“Following recent tragic events in Christchurch, we have made the decision to exclude any investments through our fund managers in companies which are associated with the manufacturing of civilian weapons.

“This considered and appropriate approach is consistent with AMP’s responsible investment philosophy, which excludes investments in a range of companies on moral and ethical grounds. This is always under review to ensure investments continue to reflect AMP’s clients’ and community’s values, as evidenced by the action we have taken today.

“We are moving quickly to complete the divestment as soon as possible."

Tags: NZ Super Fund Responsible lending

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