No more tobacco

The ethical guidelines in DnB NOR Asset Management and Vital have now been coordinated and have thus become stricter. “High ethical standards are vital to DnB NOR,” says Torkild Varran, head of DnB NOR Asset Management.

“High ethical standards are vital to DnB NOR, and we believe that this will also result in improved customer satisfaction,” says Torkild Varran, head of DnB NOR Asset Management.

Thus far, the Group’s fund management companies, Vital and Asset Management, have had quite similar ethical guidelines, but only Vital has excluded companies producing tobacco and pornography.

“We believe that our clients have found this quite confusing and that they prefer financial institutions and mutual funds which do not invest in companies involved in such activities. Thus, we have coordinated the ethical guidelines for all mutual funds sold through Vital and DnB NOR Asset Management,” says Torkild Varran.

Some in, some out

The new guidelines are still based on the United Nations Global Compact and the OECD guidelines for multinational companies, focusing on environmental considerations, human and labour rights, and corporate governance. In addition, companies involved in the production of weapons of mass destruction, cluster bombs or anti-personnel mines are excluded, and now also companies producing tobacco and pornography.

“The adjusted guidelines are strict. This is a positive development which makes us proud,” says Varran

The types of companies that are excluded are in so-called defensive sectors and are considered to represent very stable investments as their products. Measures are being taken to avoid greater value fluctuations in the Group’s mutual funds after the exclusion of these sectors.

“We will increase the exposure in our funds to other consumer goods in defensive sectors to ensure that there will be no appreciable changes in the respective funds’ returns and risk,” says Varran.

Better for all

The changes will also make it easier to put together fund products, as there will be fewer internal rules to relate to.

“In addition, it will be easier for the Group’s customer advisers to sell funds, since fund products from Vital and Asset Management will now be subject to the same ethical screening,” says Varran.

“Last, but not least, this is also part of DnB NOR’s CSR policy. We should not offer our clients products which are regarded as unethical,” concludes Varran.

Source: DnB NOR

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