The new data will allow asset managers, institutional investors and plan sponsors to quickly identify publicly traded companies with exposure to Sudan, the announcement said. Conflict Securities Advisory Group (CSAG) will be providing the research.
Initially, the IWF Workstation will enable managers to identify and exclude companies doing business in Sudan, but future product releases will provide a more complete picture of the companies’ activities. According to the announcement, those who require complete divestiture will be able to automatically exclude companies involved in Sudan, and those with human rights concerns can utilize the ratings system to compare companies on Sudan and other human rights issues.
Last year New York City Comptroller William Thompson Jr. asked companies to review their business ties to that country (See NYC’s Thompson Active on Two Corporate Governance Fronts ). States such as Illinois (See Illinois Measure Bars Sudan Investments), Oregon, and New Jersey (See New Jersey Assembly Bans State Investment in Sudan) have enacted legislation banning investment in companies with ties to Sudan.
Sam Pierce, chief executive officer at IW Financial, said in the announcement, “The issue poses compliance problems for money managers working with clients who require divestiture and, at the same time, presents opportunities for those working with clients who are concerned about human rights. Adding data from CSAG to the IWF Workstation gives asset managers a streamlined way to analyze their portfolios and move them into alignment with the new mandates.”