Renditions Inc. Investors
In April 2012, Reprieve wrote to a number of the most prominent shareholders in Computer Sciences Corporation, asking them whether investing in companies complicit in rendition, secret detention and torture is contrary to their ethical commitments. This page shows how each investor construes their commitments to human rights and social responsibility, and what reply they have made to our inquiries.
Aviva “provides around 43 million customers with insurance, savings and investment products” and is “one of Europe’s leading providers of life and general insurance.” Aviva has “committed to respect and uphold fundamental principles in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption. As a sign of this commitment Aviva is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact and support human rights principles as outlined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNUDHR) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) core labour standards.”
In response to our letter, Marie Sigsworth, Group Corporate Responsibility Director, told us that Aviva were in the process of making inquiries of CSC, and would be further in touch with Reprieve once they had spoken to CSC directly.
http://www.aviva.co.uk / @avivaplc
Bank of Ireland Group
The Bank of Ireland is a diversified Financial Services Group established in 1783. Bank of Ireland recognises “the importance of wider social, ethical and environmental considerations” and factors these into their business decisions.
In response to our letter, however, Dermot O’Sullivan, Group Corporate Responsibility Manager, said that for reasons of client confidentiality he could not comment on any relationships they may or may not have with potential customers.
http://www.bankofireland.com / @TalktoBOI
“Deutsche Bank is a leading global investment bank with a substantial private clients franchise.” Deutsche Bank is committed that “as a good corporate citizen” one of their priorities “is to earn money in a manner that is both socially and ecologically responsible.”
In response to our letter, Sabine Miltner, Group Sustainability Officer, told us that Deutsche Bank was aware of the possible implications of its business activities, and considered compliance with human rights during their investment process.
https://www.db.com/index_e.htm / @Deutsche_News
Headquartered in London, HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world. “For HSBC, corporate social responsibility, or ‘CSR’, means managing our business responsibly and sensitively for long-term success. Our goal is not, and never has been, profit at any cost because we know that tomorrow’s success depends on the trust we build today.”
In response to our letter, however, Simon Martin, Head of Corporate Sustainability, told us that HSBC would not comment on the human rights records of other companies and that they where not familiar with the issues we outlined.
http://www.hsbc.co.uk/1/2/ / @hsbc_uk_press
Legal & General
Legal & General are “a leading provider of risk, savings and investment management products in the UK”. They state that: “Corporate social responsibility is about how we behave as a business, whether we trade ethically, how we influence the way other organisations manage themselves and the efforts we make to reduce our own and the industry’s environmental impacts.”
In response to our letter, John Stewart, Chairman, told us that he had raised the issue with Legal & General Investment Management’s Corporate Governance team, who would be investigating the issue and deciding whether further action needed to be taken.
http://www.legalandgeneralgroup.com/ / @landg_group
Lloyds Banking Group
Lloyds Banking Group is “a leading UK based financial services group providing a wide range of banking and financial services, primarily in the UK, to personal and corporate customers.” The group’s stated human rights policy is that “in addition to obeying the laws, rules and regulations of every country in which we operate, the Group will respect and support the United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
In response to our letter to Lloyds Banking Group, Craig Mackenzie, Head of Sustainability at Scottish Widows Investment Products, told us that allegations of potential breaches of international conventions by companies are taken very seriously, and are investigated as a matter of course.
http://www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/ / @lloydsbankinggp
Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM)
Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) is the asset management unit of the Norwegian central bank (Norges Bank). NBIM manages the Norwegian Government Pension Fund (often referred to as the Norwegian oil fund) and most of Norges Bank’s foreign exchange reserves. The Norwegian Government states that it will seek to “exclude companies from the investment universe of the Fund if there is an unacceptable risk that the company contributes to or is responsible for … serious or systematic human rights violations, such as murder, torture, deprivation of liberty” or “other particularly serious violations of fundamental ethical norms.”
In response to our letter, Anne Kvam, Global Head of Ownership Policy, told us that our letter had been forwarded to the Norwegian Ministry of Finance’s Council on Ethics. The role of the Council is to provide recommendations to the Ministry regarding the exclusion of companies from the Fund.
http://www.nbim.no/ / @NorgesBank
Prudential plc is an international financial services group with significant operations in Asia, the US and the UK. For Prudential, corporate responsibility “covers both the standards and attitudes that have been embedded in the way we conduct our business and customer relationships, and also the contribution we make to further the well-being of the communities in which we are present.”
In response to our letter, Prudential declined to comment on CSC.
State Street is “a leading financial services provider serving some of the world’s most sophisticated institutions. We offer a flexible suite of services that spans the investment spectrum, including investment management, research and trading, and investment servicing”. “Actively engaging our global communities” is stated to be one of State Streets “fundamental values”.
In response to our letter, Kelly Q. Driscoll, Senior Managing Director, Head of Governance, told us that that they appreciated the information we had given them, and may evaluate these issues in exercising their fiduciary duties and fulfilling their shareholder engagement responsibilities.
http://www.statestreet.com/ / @StateStreet
UK Financial Investments Ltd
In response to our letter, Robin Budenberg, Chairman, told us that UKFI had spoken to Lloyds and Scottish Widows Investment Partnership. Lloyds had stated to them that they “will not support companies whose ongoing business activities are illegal and that they are not aware of evidence that CSC is currently committed to activities that are inconsistent with their policy.”
To date, the following companies have failed to respond:
Bank of New York Mellon Corporation
Established in 2007 from the merger of Mellon Financial Corporation and The Bank of New York Company, Inc., BNY Mellon is “a leading investment management and investment services company, uniquely focused to help clients manage and move their financial assets and succeed in the rapidly changing global marketplace. Headquartered in New York, BNY Mellon has $26.6 trillion in assets under custody or administration and $1.3 trillion under management.”
BNY Mellon state that they “understand our customers and shareholders expect the Company and its employees to conduct business activities not only in full compliance with all laws and regulations, but also in accordance with the highest possible standards of ethical conduct.”
http://www.bnymellon.com/ / @BNYMellon
BlackRock is “one of the world’s preeminent asset management firms and a premier provider of investment management, risk management and advisory services to institutional, intermediary and individual investors around the world”.
http://www.blackrock.co.uk / @blackrock
Bridgewater Associates LP
Bridgewater “manages approximately $120 billion in global investments for a wide array of institutional clients, including foreign governments and central banks, corporate and public pension funds, university endowments and charitable foundations.” Bridgewater Founder and Manager Ray Dalio believes that “a basic principle of justice is that everyone has the right to face his accuser. Truth—more precisely, an accurate understanding of reality—is the essential foundation for producing good outcomes.”
Dodge & Cox Funds
https://www.dodgeandcox.com / @Dodgeandcox
Fidelity Worldwide Investment is one of the UK’s largest investment fund managers with assets worth $231.6 billion. Fidelity believes “in making sure we know that the companies we invest in are managed legally and responsibly.” They state that they “adopt a positive engagement approach whereby we discuss these issues with the management of the companies in which we invest or consider investing on behalf of our clients.”
Guggenheim Partners is a privately held, diversified services firm providing asset management, investment banking and capital market services, insurances, institutional finance and investment advisory solutions to institutions, governments and agencies, corporations, investment advisors, family offices and individuals. Guggenheim Partners believe that that corporate citizenship is their “inherent responsibility” and state: “we take our role seriously and have only begun our intentions to apply our skills and knowledge to help improve our communities and the lives of the individuals within them.”
LSV Asset Management
Based in Chicago, IL, LSV Asset Management specialises in value equity management for institutional investors around the world. LSV currently manages approximately $65 billion in value equity portfolios for approximately 400 clients as of 31 March 2012.
Old Mutual PLC
Old Mutual is “a leading international long term savings, investment and protection group”. Julian Roberts, Group Chief Executive, states that Old Mutual PLC “are working hard to ensure we operate as a responsible business with the right processes in place to manage our impacts and make certain that they are positive ones.”
Power Corporation of Canada
Incorporated in 1925, Power Corporation of Canada is “a diversified international management and holding company with interests in companies in the financial services, communications and other business sectors.” Power Corporation strives to “conduct itself in a manner consistent with the goals that form the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and to make a positive contribution to the communities where the Corporation is established.”
Pzena Investment Management is a global investment management firm that “employs a classic value investment approach”. In their Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, the company claims to be “committed to the highest standards of business conduct in our relationships with each other and with out clients, suppliers, shareholders and others. This requires that we conduct our business in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations and in accordance with the highest standards of business conduct.”
Schafer Cullen Capital Management Inc.
T. Rowe Price
T. Rowe Price is an investment management firm headquartered in Baltimore, MD, with offices in 13 countries around the world. T. Rowe Price believe that “our responsibilities as diligent investors do not cease with the decision to purchase a security. We maintain regular dialogue with the managements of our portfolio companies, and where we find areas of concern—whether in their financial or non-financial practices—we raise those concerns with them.”
http://corporate.troweprice.com / @TRowePrice
Teachers Insurance & Annuity Association of America (TIAA-CREF)
TIAA-CREF is “a leading financial services organization with $487 billion in assets under management (as of 3/31/12). The firm is a leader in helping those in the academic, medical, cultural, governmental and research fields plan for retirement, and life’s other goals. Over 3.7 million individuals trust us to help support their financial well-being.” TIAA-CREF has “a long-standing commitment to socially responsible investing (SRI) that is consistent with our nonprofit heritage and unwavering mission to serve those who serve the greater good.”
https://www.tiaa-cref.org / @TC_Talks
Tradewinds is a global investment firm that seeks to “identify and capture hidden investment opportunities” for their clients.
The Vanguard Group provides asset management services to individual and institutional investors and financial advisers. One of Vanguard’s promises to their investors is to “Adhere to the highest standards of ethical behaviour and fiduciary responsibility.”
https://www.vanguard.co.uk/ / @Vanguard_Group