Dear All Souls College, Oxford,
I am writing to request information on the financial relationships the college holds with the arms and tobacco trade (specifically, but not limited to:
- BAE Systems
- Smiths Group
- VT Group
- United Technologies
- Airbus SE
- Lockheed Martin
- Caterpillar Inc,
- General Dynamics
- Northrop Grumman
- Raytheon, Textron and Thales Group
- L3 communications
- Philip Morris
- British American Tobacco
- Imperial Brands
Please include the following information:
1) A portfolio statement for the fund(s) the college has investments in. If you do not have a copy of this, please send me a list of the names of the fund(s) and the corresponding management companies. Details should be broken down, year-by-year for the last five financial years.
2) Please also confirm if any shares are held in arms trade companies as part of a pension fund or endowment, either directly or indirectly through an externally managed fund. Details should be broken down, year-by-year for the last five financial years.
I would wholeheartedly encourage the university to adopt an ethical investment policy that excludes the arms trade, and would appreciate it if you could tell me if this is something that the university is working towards.
Dear Ms Woolley,
Thank you for your email.
All Souls College and the All Souls College Pension Scheme invests primarily in tracker funds, all of which are managed by BlackRock. They cover a number of regions: North America, Europe (ex-UK), UK, Japan, Asia (ex-Japan) and Emerging Markets. The College does not know exactly what the holdings are in these funds but, because they are meant to replicate the market, some of the shares you mention below may be included. I am afraid we do not have the information you request, but BlackRock might be able to help you. The ASCSPS scheme investments are in the Aquila Life Consensus Fund.
We also invest with three other fund managers: Arisaig, Cederberg and Cedar Rock. Again, we are not privy to all of their holdings, but the fund managers may be prepared to reveal them to you. It is unlikely that Arisaig or Cederberg funds own any of the shares listed below, as they specialize in Asian consumer spending and China, respectively.
Cedar Rock is a global equity fund. Again, the College does not know its holdings, but we understand they own some shares in tobacco companies, which is why the College has served them with instructions to sell our holdings in the Cedar Rock fund.
Regarding the arms trade, we do not know what the University of Oxford's current thinking is on the subject. As you may know, they have an SRI committee which advises them on ethical investment issues, and it is up to that committee to listen to members of congregation with concerns and then suggest investment policies to Council.
Dr Sarah Beaver
All Souls College
Oxford, OX1 4AL
Telephone: +44(0)1865-279332 (Internal -79332)
E-mail: [All Souls College request email]
All Souls College is a registered charity – number 1138057
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