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Phillips &Drew strengthens SRI policy

July 2000

Fund manager Phillips & Drew has issued new guidelines on its approach to socially responsible investment (SRI).

The guidelines, which have been posted on the web, claim SRI ‘is integral to our investment process’ and commit the company to ‘focused engagement’ on three key issues – human rights, employment standards and the environment – which ‘have the potential to have a major impact on shareholder value’.

They warn that ‘if a company consistently fails to meet our expectations, we will seek to institute a change in company strategy and, as an ultimate sanction, in the management’.

They say managers ‘expect the boards of the companies in which we invest on our clients’ behalf to attach suitable importance to social, ethical and environmental matters’.

Such matters will be raised in the estimated 1400 meetings held each year with companies around the world, typically with chief executives and finance directors.

If problems persist, and ‘where, in our judgement, an SRI issue is likely to prove significant in terms of investment risk’, the company concerned could be excluded from Phillips & Drew portfolios. The guidelines add that, ‘in the majority of cases, we are unlikely to exclude a potential investment on SRI grounds alone.’

Phillips & Drew manages total assets of £40billion on behalf of around 400 clients, many of them large corporate and local authority pension funds. In February, it was criticised for selling its stake in Huntingdon Life Sciences under pressure from animal rights activists.




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