Allianz and Goldman Sachs accused of communications ‘moralwashing’ on Russia

Investment giants Allianz and Goldman Sachs have been accused of ‘moralwashing’ over their business dealings with Russia. A report by the Moral Rating Agency (MRA) says they are two of 12 major corporations that have misled the public over their response to the invasion of Ukraine. 

Allianz was ranked as the eighth “worst offender”, with Goldman Sachs 11th.

American food and drinks giant PepsiCo was singled out for most criticism ahead of Swiss rival Nestle in second and British consumer goods company Unilever in third.

The report claims many firms who said they have fully withdrawn from the Russian market have actually retained investments there.

Companies worldwide were forced to act amid criticism over their ties with Russia following its unprovoked invasion of its neighbouring country in February.

The MRA says its analysis of statements made by 112 companies in response to the crisis has revealed many said one thing but did another.

The report compilers considered each firm’s degree of exit, speed of exit, conviction in exit, impact of their exit on Russia and the sacrifice involved.

The MRA says it found telling “communications failures” which often fell somewhere between “confusing” or simply a “red herring”. 

On German multinational Allianz, it says they had given “the impression it cut its involvement in Russia in half.”

But the MRA says they failed to make clear that after selling a majority stake in its Russian operations to Interholding LLC, it still owns 49.9% of a “combined company” and now gets a “smaller slice of a bigger pie”.  

The MRA also referred to an announcement made in March 2022 by Goldman Sachs in which it used the expression “winding down” to describe its response.

But it says it is not clear the American investment giant has made any commitment to “wind down anything beyond what it is legally required to do.”

MRA founder Mark Dixon said: “The 12 worst offenders didn’t just fail to exit Russia properly – they also frequently moralwashed their failures by saying one thing and doing another.” 

Allianz and Goldman Sachs have both been contacted by Funds Europe for comment.

© 2022 funds europe

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