Nordea’s Responsible Investment team has decided to put a temporary hold on investments in Facebook for the Stars funds. The investment quarantine means the fund managers of Star funds aren’t allowed to buy shares in Facebook during a three-month period.
“We have, of course, been aware of ESG-related risks in Facebook and other companies in the same business for some time. A thematic report was initiated in late 2017, specifically addressing data privacy risks, among other issues, within the tech-space. We’re now pulling the brake because we see that the risks related to governance around data protection may have been severely compromised. In conjunction with this, the increased regulatory risk dictates that right now, it is incompatible with the level of clarity we want to have with our investments in the STARS funds. Until we’ve had time to fully assess the breath and width of this problem, we choose to quarantine the company” said Katarina Hammar, head of Nordea’s Responsible Investment unit.
The Stars fund family, which invests in companies with top-of-class environmental, social responsibility and governance profiles, currently comprises six funds, of which five are share funds and one is a fixed-income fund. Investments in Facebook have been made through the Nordea Global Stars fund, in which Facebook is currently 1,98 percent of the total holding.
An assessment of the situation will be made throughout the quarantine period and a decision will be based on the findings. While fund managers aren’t allowed to buy shares during the quarantine, they are allowed to sell off the shares already held.
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