Tobacco investments held by local authority pension fund

Rob Davies made this Freedom of Information request to Middlesbrough Council as part of a batch sent to 447 authorities

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Middlesbrough Council,

I am seeking information about the value of the local authority pension fund’s investment in tobacco shares and bonds, as well as the income from those investments. Please provide whatever answers you can to the following.

1. What is the most recent available value of the local authority's pension fund?

2. What is the value of the fund’s directly-held investment in shares or bonds of the following companies: British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands, Japan Tobacco International, Altria Group Inc, Philip Morris International, Universal Corp, Alliance One International?

3. What is the total combined value of the fund’s directly-held investments in the companies named above?

4. What income did the fund receive from these investments in the last 12-month period for which records are available?

5. Does the fund have any other investments in tobacco via pooled investments? What is the value of these?

6. What is the local authority’s annual spend on smoking-related illness?

7. Please supply the number of deaths attributable to smoking in the local authority areas covered by your pension fund. Your Director of Public Health or equivalent should be able to supply this figure.

If you require clarification on any of the above questions, please get in touch on 0203 353 3616, or 07415154041 or email me at [email address]

Yours faithfully,

Rob Davies

foi, Middlesbrough Council

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Dear Mr Davies

 

REF NO: 012697

 

Thank you for your recent enquiry, received on 17/04/2018, in relation to
local authority pension fund’s investments in tobacco companies. I can
confirm that your enquiry is receiving attention and a response will be
provided within 20 working days following receipt of your enquiry as
allowed under the Freedom of Information Act legislation.

 

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, I will
let you know the likely charges before proceeding.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me direct on (01642) 729696/729698 or
email [Middlesbrough Council request email] should you require any further advice or
assistance with this or any other matter.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Public Information Officer

 

Finance Governance & Support

Performance & Partnerships

Middlesbrough Council

 

 

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foi, Middlesbrough Council

 

Dear Mr Davies

 

REF NO: 012697  

 

I am writing to confirm that Middlesbrough Council has now completed its
search for the information you requested on 17 April 2018.

 

In your request you asked for the following information:

 

The value of the local authority pension fund's investment in tobacco
shares and bonds, as well as the income from those investments. Please
provide whatever answers you can to the following.

 

1.     What is the most recent available value of the local authority's
pension fund?

 

Response:

£3,897,764,196.21 (as at 1 March 2018)

 

2.     What is the value of the fund's directly-held investment in shares
or bonds of the following companies: British American Tobacco, Imperial
Brands, Japan Tobacco International, Altria Group Inc, Philip Morris
International, Universal Corp, Alliance One International?

 

Response:

British American Tobacco £45,296,415.00 / Imperial Brands £4,483,400.00 /
Japan Tobacco £0 / Altria Group £3,331,866.33 / Philip Morris Intl.
£4,429,033.37 / Universal Corp. £0 / Alliance One Intl. £0 (all as at 31
March 2018)

 

3.     What is the total combined value of the fund's directly-held
investments in the companies named above?

 

Response:

£57,540,714.70 (as at 31 March 2018)

 

4.     What income did the fund receive from these investments in the last
12-month period for which records are available?

 

Response:

3,723,241.63 (for the year 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018)

 

5.     Does the fund have any other investments in tobacco via pooled
investments? What is the value of these?

 

Response:

The Fund does own units in pooled funds, some of which will include
tobacco company shareholdings (State Street Index Tracker Funds for Japan
& Asia Pacific ex Japan) which were acquired in February (Japan) and March
(Asia Pacific ex Japan) 2018.  The total value of our holding in these
funds as at 31 March 2018 was £235,562,838.47 (Japan) and £344,850,324.18
(Asia Pacific ex Japan).

 

6. What is the local authority's annual spend on smoking-related illness?

 

Response:

The estimated total cost to social care as a result of smoking for adults
aged 50 and over during 2015/16 in Middlesbrough UA was approximately
£4,242,158.  £2,315,655 specifically linked to Local Authority Social Care
Spend attributable to smoking

 

7. Please supply the number of deaths attributable to smoking in the local
authority areas covered by your pension fund. Your Director of Public
Health or equivalent should be able to supply this figure.

 

Response:

845 deaths between 2014 and 2016.

 

If you have any queries about this response, please do not hesitate to
contact me direct on (01642) 729696/729698 or email
[1][Middlesbrough Council request email]. Please remember to quote the reference number
shown above in any future communications.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled you may ask
for an internal review within 40 days of receipt of the response. You
should write to:-

Ann-Marie Johnstone

Corporate Strategy Manager

P.O. Box 500,

Civic Centre,

Middlesbrough.

TS1 9FT

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for an
independent review. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: -

 

Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House,
Water Lane,
Wilmslow,
Cheshire,
SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely

 

Steph Robson

Information & Compliance Officer

 

Finance, Governance & Support

P.O. Box 500,

Civic Centre,

Middlesbrough.

TS1 9FT

Tel. 01642 729696

 

Email: [2][Middlesbrough Council request email]

 

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