Robeco, the asset management subsidiary of Orix Corporation Europe, has announced that it will phase out all investments in tobacco by the end of the third quarter of 2018.
The group already excludes tobacco in its $20bn sustainable investment assets under the RobecoSAM brand, and will now extend the exclusion to all its mainstream funds, including sub-advised funds with the exception of client specific mandates.
The group currently has €161bn in assets under management of which more than 70% on behalf of institutional clients. As of mid-February, Robeco had 0.24% of its AUM invested in Tobacco, amounting to a divestment of approximately €129m, a Robeco spokesperson confirmed to InvestmentEurope.
Peter Ferket, head of Investments comments on the decision: “Robeco has been at the forefront of SI since the 1990s and sees sustainability as a long-term force for change in markets, countries and companies. Given the significant international concerns about the risks posed by tobacco and in view of recent developments, such as the UN Global Compact’s decision, we think the time is ripe for excluding tobacco.”
Robeco’s decision comes just days after BNP Paribas announced its intention to divest from tobacco, other asset management giants, including Dutch pension fund ABP and French group AXA have made similar commitments.