Mercer wins university investment mandate

A Melbourne university appointed Mercer as its new investment manager and awarded $215 million to two of the investment manager's socially responsible funds.

A stronger environmental, social and corporate governance focus will see Swinburne University of Technology invest in Mercer's Socially Responsible Global Shares and Socially Responsible Australian Shares Funds.

Since instituting a responsible investment charter, Swinburne will restrict its portfolios from investing in companies involved in producing or distributing cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines and biological, chemical or nuclear weapons.

It will also avoid companies with material exposure to tobacco, alcohol, gambling or gaming, adult entertainment and thermal coal, and will target companies with innovative solutions to sustainable development.

Mercer global business leader, responsible investment Helga Birgden said Swinburne's responsible investment strategy is a structured and robust plan with a long-term focus.

"The university is now allocating capital to sustainability while seeking to avoid material harm. Guided by its strong policy in this area, Swinburne's investments will help the university create and preserve long-term investment capital," Birgden said.

Swinburne chief financial officer Fiona Schutt said the responsible approach to investing is not only a commitment to the community, but crucial to the sustainable growth of the university's investment funds.

Swinburne appointed Mercer as its investment manager in October 2016, recently completing its transition.

Read more: investmentMercerMelbourneAustralian Shares FundsFiona SchuttGlobal SharesHelga BirgdenSwinburne University of Technologymandatesocially responsible investmentgovernanceESG
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