QSuper has withdrawn $400 million from AMP Capital as it has moved its Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) option in-house and rolled out its new approach.
QSuper declared a wave of changes around the SRI option on Monday, which had come into effect from July. AMP Capital had previously managed the option.
Charles Woodhouse, chief investment officer for QSuper said his fund had taken the option in-house after recognising member demand for a more holistic SRI approach, that directly met their needs.
He also reported internal management would allow the fund to deliver on members’ requirements with greater confidence in meeting the investment objective, after fees.
“Rather than simply focus on a set of negative screens and what is left out, we believe our positive impact approach and the way we have applied this thinking to all asset classes is something unique [among] our peers,” Mr Woodhouse said.
The SRI option has promised investments contributing positively to environmental and social challenges, with an aim to report at least annually to members on both its financial performance and positive impact achieved.
It is set to have a new approach – investing only in equities which generate more than half their sales from the preferences given by QSuper members in a 2019 survey. The same criteria are being applied to investments in private equity.
The targeted investments, as nominated by QSuper members, include clean energy, conservation, waste reduction, education, healthcare, medical innovation and green building.
The SRI option has also committed to avoiding investment in fossil fuels, gambling, adult entertainment, tobacco, landmines and cluster munitions.
The reporting mechanisms to members are still in development, but Mr Woodhouse noted they will “likely align” with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, alongside case studies of the impacts from individual investments.
Meanwhile, the corporate fixed interest component of the portfolio will only be allocated to green bonds.
Member priorities will be monitored through ongoing surveys.
Around 6,000 of the fund’s members are invested in the SRI option, out of its total of 593,645.
QSuper’s total funds under management now sit at just under $95 billion, as at the end of the 2020 financial year.
In April, the fund indicated its discussions of a $195 million merger with Sunsuper had slowed amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
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