BNP Paribas Asset Management, which announced the complete ban of tobacco-related investments last November, said it has extended its policy to its range of actively-managed collective investment funds over which it has full discretion.
The manager expects tobacco divestment from portfolios to be fully achieved by year-end with gradual implementation of the divestment process.
The decision has been taken as part of BNPP AM’s commitment to responsible investment, that includes a fiduciary responsibility that encompasses managing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks.
Some seven million people die annually from tobacco-related causes according to estimates from the World Health Organisation.
Frederic Janbon, CEO of BNPP AM, said: “BNP Paribas Asset Management is one of the first global asset managers to exclude tobacco from its mainstream investments, and as a leading player we are committed to being a responsible investor in all aspects of our business. We recognise the important role that long term capital plays in tackling major global issues and with an increasing number of asset owners, insurers and pension funds excluding tobacco from their investments, we are taking into account growing international concerns about the risks posed by tobacco.
“Our commitment to long term investing remains resolute and we will continue to represent the interests of our clients to the management teams of the companies in which we invest, to engage with them on the issues relevant to our investment cases and to uphold our active commitment to a more responsible economy.”
BNPP AM had €569bn of assets under management as of 31 December 2017.