Purpose Investments Inc. (“Purpose”) today announced it has divested all direct holdings of Russian companies and pledges to cease new investments so long as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine persists. To take a stance against this senseless war and show support for the Ukrainian people, Purpose began divesting its funds of Russian companies and companies that do meaningful business in Russia last week.
“Like so many Canadians, we have an undeniable urge to do all we can to support those who are suffering,” says Som Seif, CEO and founder of Purpose Investments. “We took a stance many years ago to embed ESG factors into all our investments portfolios, and believe there is no better test on a firm’s ESG principles than this. We simply do not feel that it’s appropriate to have our clients’ capital supporting Russian companies or businesses that are engaged in direct business in Russia.”
Purpose has spearheaded a call for industry action alongside other asset managers to support the divesting of Russian assets in our portfolios. Individually, each of us may be small, but collectively our industry is a force that can make a difference. Today asset managers and pension funds representing over $200 billion in assets have stepped up and made this pledge and we anticipate many more to speak out and talk with their capital. We encourage our capital market peers to fulfill their role as responsible leaders and sign the Pledge to Divest from Russia.
Through this shared pledge, leaders across Canada have already agreed to identify their exposure to Russian companies, cease any new investments in the region, and divest holdings of relevant entities as soon as possible. Signatories are also encouraged to publicly report on exposure, divestments, and future investment plans to build awareness and transparency for this effort.
“This decision goes far beyond investments. It reflects our concern and apprehension over the situation taking place in Ukraine, and our desire to support the brave Ukrainian people however we are able,” says Som Seif, CEO and founder of Purpose. “By rallying the asset management and pension industries together, we can spread the message far and wide that we cannot and will not support tyranny and the suffering it causes.”
For more information on the pledge, please visit Pledge to Divest from Russia.
About Purpose Investments Inc.
Purpose Investments Inc. is an asset management company with approximately $14 billion in assets under management. Purpose has an unrelenting focus on client-centric innovation, and offers a range of outcome-focused products. Purpose Investments is led by well-known entrepreneur Som Seif and is a division of Purpose Financial, an independent technology-driven financial services company.
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