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17 May 2018 - 06:50 CET

NN Group excludes investments in tobacco

NN Group has taken an important next step in its responsible investment policy. Together with its asset manager NN Investment Partners (NN IP), NN Group has made the decision to exclude tobacco from all its investments. Currently tobacco is already excluded in the dedicated Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) funds and mandates, including sustainable and impact products, which NN IP manages on behalf of its clients.

The decision to extend the exclusion to all proprietary and client funds and mandates has been taken as part of NN Group’s responsible investment policy. Jelle van der Giessen, Chief Investment Officer NN Group: “We have come to the decision that tobacco no longer fits with our responsible investment approach. The decision takes into account concerns regarding public health, because it is not possible to use tobacco products responsibly, as well as the economic burden on society via the externalised economic and societal costs of tobacco and how this may affect investors.”

Valentijn van Nieuwenhuijzen, Chief Investment Officer NN IP: “Although we take our stewardship responsibility seriously by helping companies to strengthen their approach to ESG issues, we have concluded that engagement with the tobacco industry will not lead to fundamental changes.”

The decision aims to divest all equity and fixed income holdings of tobacco manufacturers within one year. The exclusion will apply to all mutual funds managed by NN IP. For client assets that are managed in a discretionary way, NN IP will not divest without prior consultation. With regards to NN Group’s general account assets, the existing tobacco investments are all corporate bonds and will be divested immediately or brought to maturity.