17 November, 2016
Graham Precey, Legal & General’s Head of Corporate Responsibility and Ethics talks about the company’s recently published policy on controversial weapons
Where we invest our money really matters. Long term investments made in the right places create growth in the economy and can make people’s lives better. Our £15 billion commitment to invest in UK infrastructure is a great example where we are investing in housing, urban regeneration, renewable energy and small business growth. We have already made over £8 billion in these types of direct investments.
But sometimes we also explicitly need to exclude our exposure to companies and sectors that we don’t agree with, because of the negative impact they make upon people’s lives.
Our Group Ethics Committee, people across our businesses and experts from ‘Sustainanalytics’ have all worked together so that we can publish our policy to exclude companies from around the world who are involved with the production of controversial weapons.
The controversial weapons exclusion list
This means that there are currently 35 companies listed in our exclusion policy. These are companies where we have decided not to hold equity, provide debt financing, provide business to business insurance, provide pension products or be a landlord. The policy applies to all shareholder funds across the Legal & General Group of companies.
Mark Gregory, Chief Financial Officer (photo) and sponsor of the new policy said: “Having boundaries of where we will and won’t invest is important for our employees, customers and investors. Typically we invest in many things in line with our belief that we can influence through ownership of assets to change behaviour.
“We wanted to send a strong message to these companies that we don’t agree with what they are doing. You only have to see the news on a daily basis to see the terrible impact that cluster munitions, anti-personnel landmines, and biological and chemical weapons have upon people’s lives.
“We had very limited exposure to the companies that we have excluded in this policy but hope that customers big and small join us in the withdrawal of support for these types of businesses.”
As a company we will continue to look for opportunities to provide finance to organisations that make a positive difference to people’s lives. Our recently published interactive map shows where we have invested near you. Simply type in any UK postcode and see what investments we've made which make a positive impact near somewhere that's important to you.
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