BMO Global adds weight to fossil fuel divestment

BMO Global Asset Management (BMO GAM) has become the latest firm to take action on fossil fuels by excluding all companies with fossil fuel reserves from its Responsible Funds range.

The policy immediately covers global and emerging market strategies within the range, and will extend to the full fund range from January 1, 2020.

BMO GAM said it had developed the new policy working closely with its external responsible investment advisory council, whose members include the Most Revd Justin Welby, and Howard Pearce, the chairman who is formerly of the Environment Agency Pension Fund.

Over $5 trillion in institutional assets have some form of divestment strategy in place, the firm said quoting gofossilfree.org figures.

Also, quoting UKSIF, the firm said one-third of UK retail investors had stated they would like a fossil-free option for their savings.

Vicki Bakhshi, director in the governance and sustainable investment team at the asset manager, said investment in companies with fossil fuel reserves was “increasingly incompatible” with the ethical and sustainability objectives of the BMO GAM’s responsible strategies range.

She added: “We also see a growing investor demand, from both institutions and individuals, for investment strategies that allow them to avoid investment in these companies, yet there is a distinct lack of choice of such strategies in the market.”

Axa Investment Managers recently said asset management firms and investors should do more to divest from fossil-fuel companies.

©2017 funds europe

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