St Anne’s is looking at twosignificant changes: Total Returnand responsible investment. The college recently joined theResponsible Investment Network,a network coordinated by thecharity ShareAction to help withresponsible investment. The college released a comment on Monday, saying that it planned to reduce its fossil fuel involvement “as far and as fast as practicable.” As well as BP and Shell, the college has links to Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, and BAE systems. According to their website, Sha- reAction envisions “a world where ordinary savers and institutional investors work together to ensure our communities and environment are safe and sustainable for all.” The workshops, facilitated by ShareAction, explored how investment management works and recent developments in responsible investment, as well as the legal and regulatory constraints that apply. Having begun the review last year, the college opened up the discussion to all members of college this week. John Ford, the Treasurer of St Anne’s told Cherwell: “The main goals of the college’s investments are to support our charitable purpose as an educational institution. This drive for change comesafter Balliol College announcedits divestment from fossil fuelcompanies. “It is therefore a great opportunity to introduce responsible investment into our overall strategy. ShareAction, who facilitated the workshop, is a registered charity that promotes responsible investment, and aims to improve corporate behaviour on environmental, social and governance issues. Both students and staff wereinvited to learn more about thenature and importance of thecollege investments in supportingcollege life. The main driver of the investment review was to ensure that our investments were sustainable from an income perspective to maintain this. With over 50 per cent of all UKuniversities having divested fromfossil fuels, this was a topic thatwas readily discussed, especiallybecause of St Anne’s current linksto BP and Shell. Opening the session, the Treasurer of St Anne’s outlined the reasoning behind the Investment Review: “The world is moving in a particular direction… and I would like St Anne’s to be part of that movement.” “The college is hoping to move from a pure income strategy, where it can only spend what income is produced by its underlying investments, to a total return strategy where some capital gain can be used as income. This change should make the college less reliant on dividends from certain industries, for example the oil & gas sector. “The college is currently consulting students and staff on the proposed changes and hopes to complete the main changes by the summer.” Students and staff were encouraged to share their thoughts on how the college’s investments should be managed, what principles of responsible investment might apply, and how the college might involve third party managers to support its objectives. With 11 per cent of incomefrom Endowment Investmentand 16 per cent from EndowmentInvestment Gains, a large portionof the college’s income is centredaround investment. For the first time in over 20 years,St Anne’s College is undertaking afull review of its investments. “The college recently joined theResponsible Investment Network-Universities (RINU) with a view tobecoming a more actively engagedinvestor. We hope this will giveus more impact in influencingcompany behaviour in areas suchas climate change. The fifth college to announce a policy of divestment, Balliol follows St Hilda’s, Wadham, Wolfson and Oriel.
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