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Lewisham seeks member thoughts on SRI

UK - The £600m (€878m) Lewisham council pension fund has plans to send out a questionnaire to pensioners and active members to gauge their thoughts on ethical investment issues.

Lewisham said it will be one of the first schemes to allow members "direct influence on a responsible investment policy".

No decision on the exact form or contents of the survey has yet been made, a spokeswoman for the fund told IPE.

However, "the fund has ruled out segregation and screening of stock after considering legal advice," explained Nigel Mascarenhas, group manager of Capital and Treasury at Lewisham Council.

The borough is assisted in its campaign by FairPensions, a campaigning charity set up in 2005 by Alex van der Velden, a former JP Morgan investment manager, to help pension funds to actively engage as shareholders.

As part of its attempt to step up its socially responsible investment (SRI) Lewisham also decided to join the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF). The organisation which currently has 40 members with an aggregated asset value of £70bn and aims to promote corporate social responsibility and high standards of corporate governance.

Most recently, the LAPFF had opposed the remuneration reports at oil giants BP and Shell.

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