TIAA-CREF Steps Up Efforts in Sudan Divestment

March 26, 2009 ( - TIAA-CREF announced a plan to intensify pressure on target companies that maintain business relations with the Sudanese government and divest from those that fail to take meaningful steps to disassociate themselves within a reasonable time.

In the announcement, TIAA-CREF said it will:

  • Seek meetings between TIAA-CREF executives and executives of target companies to encourage them to take positive and meaningful humanitarian steps;
  • Publicly endorse the U.N.-sponsored Principles for Responsible Investment. Signatories include institutional investors with a combined $2.5 trillion in assets under management with whom TIAA-CREF will join to urge companies operating in Sudan to confront human rights abuses; and
  • Call upon other financial services companies to follow its lead and increase pressure on target companies.

According to the announcement, if target companies – PetroChina, CNPC Hong Kong, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Sinopec, and PETRONAS – refuse to meet with TIAA-CREF, it will divest promptly. If they agree to engage in a productive dialogue, TIAA-CREF said it will continue to hold their shares as long as progress continues and as long as portfolio management concerns warrant.

Companies that take meaningful steps to discourage the conflict in Darfur will be removed from the target list.

TIAA-CREF’s policy statement on corporate governance is here .