At its meeting of 12th July, UCL Council considered a number of options for the future development of the university’s investment policy.
Council agreed to an investment policy that follows the principles of the Climate Active Endowment Fund, which is due to be launched by UCL’s appointed investment manager, Sarasin. This investment fund is aimed at universities, charities and other organisations seeking to invest in a socially responsible manner.
Council decided not to put UCL’s investments into the Sarasin fund itself, believing that retaining a separate portfolio, using the same principles, would enable greater flexibility for UCL to set its own policy, and adjust the strategy for the portfolio and its responsible investment strategy should circumstances change in future.
It also agreed to give its Investment Committee an explicit remit to monitor its approach to responsible investment. In order to implement this, several members of the previous Ethical Investment Review Committee will be invited to join the Investment Committee. At that point the Ethical Investment Review Committee will be discontinued.
UCL’s endowment stood at £142m at 30th June 2016, with approximately 8% of the portfolio invested in energy stocks.
Phil Harding, UCL Director of Finance, said: ’UCL’s investment policy has always included an ethical dimension, the application of which has previously resulted in the exclusion, for example, of any investment in tobacco. At the same time our objective is to preserve the real value of the portfolio over the long term and achieve a set level of income.
‘The policy agreed by UCL Council will enable us to maintain our commitment to achieving both of these objectives.’