US - The New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF) is looking to divest from companies doing to business in Iran, if they fail to explain steps they have take to minimise risk to the pension fund.
State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the sole trustee of the US$154bn fund, announced a three-phase strategy, starting with identifying firms that have operations in Iran related to its energy or defence sectors.
It will then ask those companies to provide a detailed description and full history of their business activities in Iran, how those activities are consistent with a sound and prudent long-term investment strategy, and what steps have been taken to mitigate risks.
If the CRF decides they have failed to take substantial steps to minimise risks it will withhold additional or new investments, decline to renew existing investments, and/or divest investments in those companies.
DiNapoli said the CRF had to ask if it could afford to risk pension fund investments in Iran.
He said: “The pension fund must be managed for the benefit of the members, retirees and beneficiaries, and investing in companies that operate in a uniquely unstable environment is not consistent with long-term investment strategies.”
The strategy parallels a programme enacted by the California State Legislature, directing the California Public Employees’ Retirement and California State Teachers’ Retirement systems to begin a divestment process from certain companies doing business in Iran.
The Retirement and Independent Entities Committee of the Utah Legislature is also considering a plan to ensure none of the Utah State Retirement System’s assets are invested in companies doing business in the country.
Fidelity International has created global retirement savings guidelines to help employers and employees understand how much is needed to save for retirement, writes Kim Kaveh.
The Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) has announced the sudden death of its chairman, Ian Greenwood, on Monday (12 November) night at age 68.
Jonathan Stapleton wonders whether we need a thorough review of the principles for institutional investment decision-making