FSC releases guidance on divesting Russian assets
THE Financial Services Council (FSC) has today released 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 guidance reinforces the resolve of the financial services sector in ensuring that it meets the strong expectations of divestment outlined by the Australian Government.
FSC CEO 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.
”By providing guidance, 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, which is available on the FSC website sets 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 covers:
- 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.
Mr Briggs said the FSC was confident this contribution will assist the broader industry in ensuring divestment occurs so that the superannuation sector can play its role in supporting international sanctions against Russia.
About the Financial Services Council
The FSC is a peak body which sets mandatory standards and develops policy for more than 100 member companies in one of Australia’s largest industry sectors, financial services. FSC Full Members represent Australia’s retail and wholesale funds management businesses, superannuation funds, life insurers and financial advice licensees. Supporting Members represent the professional services firms such as ICT, consulting, accounting, legal, recruitment, actuarial and research houses. The financial services industry is responsible for investing $3 trillion on behalf of more than 15.6 million Australians. The pool of funds under management is larger than Australia’s GDP and the capitalisation of the Australian Securities Exchange, and is the fourth largest pool of managed funds in the world.