New York City Teachers pension fund divests from gun makers
NORTH AMERICA – The New York City Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) has divested its publicly traded commercial gun and ammunition manufacturers following a thorough review process of the fund's exposure to such investments in light of recent gun-related tragedies.
City comptroller John Liu, who also serves as investment adviser to the fund, said: "There is no need to support these companies, whose products can destroy lives and shatter communities in the blink of an eye.
"Our investment portfolio gains nothing by doing business with these firms, and this is a sound decision that sends an important message about our commitment to addressing the plague of gun violence in every possible way."
The $46.6bn (€35bn) fund is the country's largest pension fund to divest all its gun industry holdings since the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012.
The five companies TRS divested from are Alliant Techsystems, Olin Corporation, Forjas Taurus, Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Company.
Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, said: "This is the right thing to do. After the tragedy at Sandy Hook, we, as educators, had to make sure guns were not part of our holdings."
The school shooting in Newtown and the continued prevalence of gun violence across the country had prompted TRS's board of trustees to request an evaluation of the system's investments in the gun industry.
The analysis concluded that divestment would be consistent with TRS's fiduciary standards and overall investment process.
Similar reviews are under way at pension funds across the US.