No more tobacco for Aegon

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Dutch pension, insurance and asset management group Aegon has announced in its 2017 responsible investment report released last week that it has added tobacco producers to its exclusion list of investments.

Aegon’s head of Strategy & Sustainability Marc van Weede explained tobacco did not fit with the group’s focus on financial security and well-being.

“We say we want our customers to enjoy long, healthy lives. Investing in tobacco just isn’t compatible with that. This is a good example of NGOs and investors working in different ways toward the same objective.

“However, it goes too far to say that everyone should do this. It is for each individual investor to make this trade-off, keeping in mind that they are allocating funds for their ultimate beneficiaries.”

Further in the report, Aegon highlighted that over the next few years, it will run off existing tobacco fixed income investments in Aegon’s general account. According to the Dutch firm, its total tobacco divestment amounts to over €500m.

In the Netherlands, a number of groups including Robeco, ABP and Actiam have – among others – announced tobacco divestment plans.