US - The California Public Employees' Retirement System said it plans to divest from eight companies with ties to Sudan and Iran, removing all investment ties to the troubled countries.
The state had passed divestment laws for companies tied to Sudan in 2006 and Iran in 2007, but the officials at the fund were able to hold on to the shares if divesting would prove harmful to CalPERS' investments.
At one point, the fund had $2bn invested in these companies, but the amount has dwindled to $160m. CalPERS did not name the eight companies.
Investment committee chair George Diehr said: "We plan to mitigate and compensate for the cost of executing trades by implementing sales over time rather than precipitously. We also will use the sales of these company shares to adjust an allocation overweight in our Global Equity portfolio, and avoid the continuing engagement costs."
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues could be the key to greater engagement with members if the power of investments is communicated well, says Emma Douglas.
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