FSC releases Russian asset divestment guidance

The Financial Services Council (FSC) had provided guidance to assist superannuation trustees and fund managers with divestment of Russian assets.

Despite superannuation funds only having a small exposure to Russian investments in the context of the $3.5 trillion superannuation system, the FSC said its guidance reinforced the resolve of the financial services sector in ensuring that it met the strong expectations of divestment outlined by the Government.

FSC chief executive, Blake Briggs, said: “Divestment of Russian assets complements a range of Russian sanctions imposed by the Government.

“The guidance supports superannuation trustees implement sanctions, cease new investments, and divest from Russian assets.

”We aim to ensure that divestment occurs in a way that is consistent with the best financial interests of members and trustees’ legal and fiduciary obligations.”

The guidance set out guiding principles for superannuation trustees; asset managers directly investing superannuation capital; and asset managers operating managed investment schemes with superannuation funds as investors.

The guidance covered:

  • What constitutes a ‘Russian Asset’;
  • Steps to be taken by superannuation trustees;
  • Issues in relation to ownership and control; and
  • How the investment process will achieve divestment.

The FSC said it was confident the contribution would assist the broader industry in ensuring divestment occurs so that the superannuation sector could play its role in supporting international sanctions against Russia.

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