At Mercer, our mission is to make a difference in people’s lives. We strive to “Make Tomorrow, Today” by helping our clients and customers advance their health, wealth and careers. We believe that a sustainable investment approach is more likely to create and preserve long term investment capital.
As part of this, Mercer has updated our Responsible Investment Policy, which covers Sustainable Investment, Ethical Investment and Corporate Governance.
Phillip Houghton-Brown, Chief Investment Officer says Mercer has worked extensively with the Responsible Investment Team, Clients and Board to develop the ethical exclusion component of the policy.
“Under the policy we will be excluding investments in companies that we believe will cause substantial and irreparable harm to society and the environment,” says Philip.
“We consider a range of criteria, including an assessment of investment risk and return implications, as well as other factors which may impact our investors in the short and the long term.”
In applying this policy Mercer will be excluding companies manufacturing tobacco, in addition to the existing exclusions for controversial weapons (cluster munitions, landmines, chemical and biological weapons, and nuclear weapons). This will apply across all asset types, with the list of companies determined in conjunction with an external provider.
Where Mercer invests through a direct mandate with a manager (where Mercer sets the investment guidelines) changes have been made to the guidelines to exclude the identified companies.
Where Mercer invests through pooled vehicles (where we don’t set the investment guidelines) we are either working with the existing manager to secure the appropriate changes, or creating new arrangements where we can control the guidelines.
The process of divestment is now well underway and will continue over coming months.
You can read the Responsible Investment Policy here.