Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Decision ahead regarding tobacco investments

Further to my previous updates regarding the Tayside Pension Investment Fund’s holdings in companies such as Imperial Tobacco and British American Tobacco, in terms of concerns about ethical behaviour, I have now been advised by the council’s Director of Corporate Services:

“I would confirm that we have now written out to fund managers to obtain the necessary details to enable us to determine the financial impact of not investing in tobacco funds. Thereafter we will be in a position to also consult with employers on this proposal. I would hope that we will be in a position to report back on this matter at the next meeting of the Pension Investment Sub-Committee on 3 March 2014.”

I am pleased that there is now some progress on this matter.     I have long been of the view that the Tayside Pension Investment Fund should not be associated with investments that could be considered in any way unethical.   The fund should put its efforts into obtaining returns only from ethical investment.

With regard to fund management, the legal and investment issues are undoubtedly complex so I can understand why council officers have looked at the issue in detail and sought advice from their investment consultant.  They are now consulting with employers who are part of the pension scheme before making any final recommendations to the Pension Investment Sub Committee.   

This process has taken some time but it now appears the Pension Investment Sub Committee will consider the matter in early 2014.