First State Super campaigns against tobacco investment

First State Super chief executive officer Michael Dwyer joined world leaders at the United Nations headquarters to campaign against tobacco investments.

The super fund was the first major Australian fund to divest from tobacco in 2012, and has since banded with Tobacco Free Portfolios to encourage other financial institutions to follow suit.

Dwyer said the global community, across all sectors, has recognised it is time to take action on the issue, and the divestment has in fact made little impact in terms of member investment returns.

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In commenting on the Tobacco Free Portfolios movement, Dwyer credited Dr Bronwyn King for her efforts in its initiation.

“The initial conversations we had in 2012, followed by her [King’s] actions and efforts have created a wave that has spread across the globe,” said Dwyer. “So far there are 85 financial institutions with assets of over $8 trillion that have signed the pledge.”

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