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Investment

Responsible investing

Making a return is one thing. Doing it responsibly is more challenging, but we think more rewarding.

Our Members have long been concerned with the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders. That’s why our objective is to achieve excellent long-term returns for the investments we make on your behalf in a way that makes a better, positive contribution to the environment and human health.

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The responsible investment policies of the Medical Assurance Society KiwiSaver Plan and the Retirement Savings Plan include three key principles:

1. We will not invest in companies whose principal business activity is

  • the manufacture and sale of armaments;
  • the manufacture and sale of tobacco; or
  • the exploration, extraction, refining or processing of fossil fuels or who are utilities that burn them.


2. We assess the environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices of a company when considering investing in company shares.

We invest in the shares of over 500 companies. Where we are a considering investing in the shares of a company, we use an international expert to assess the environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices of the company. Examples of the factors that are considered in this assessment are outlined in the table below.

Environmental Social Governance
  • Renewable energy sources
  • Natural resource preservation
  • Air emission & air quality
  • Water use & conservation

 

  • Workforce exploitation
  • Consumer privacy
  • Employment of minorities & women
  • Income inequality
  • Board independence
  • Executive compensation
  • Voting rights
  • Board diversity

 

 

  

3. As a shareholder, we regularly engage with companies regarding their ESG practices and carefully consider all voting matters.

We employ some of the world’s largest and most influential investment parties. These parties regularly engage with the companies in which we invest regarding their environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. They also carefully consider all voting matters. Our key partners are:

  • BlackRock: the world’s largest investment manager, with funds under management of nearly US6trn (as at 31 Dec 2018). BlackRock is the primary investment manager for the international equities part of MAS Funds.
  • Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS): the world’s leading provider of corporate governance and responsible investment solutions for asset owners, asset managers, hedge funds, and asset service providers.  ISS are responsible for engagement and voting in the Australasian equities part of MAS Funds (From 1 March 2019).

We also apply these polices to MAS reserves - the money MAS holds to invest for the future and to pay life and general insurance claims. In total, we have more than $1.6 billion of investment funds that are playing their part for global health and well-being.

 

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Sustainable Returns. 

We think that responsible investing is not just the right thing to do - it’s good for business too. Along with others, we see the demand for fossil fuels waning over the next 10 years. MAS has the opportunity to invest in those industries that have the greatest potential for wealth creation for future generations.  

There is an increasing pool of evidence that investing responsibly does not result in sacrificing investment returns. Research by Deutsche Bank (2012) found that responsible investment was shown to have a positive impact in 77% of studies, 22% showed no impact, while only 1% had a negative impact.

The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (the world’s leading proponent of responsible investing) agrees. According to their research, incorporating ESG factors into the investment decision making process better manages risk and generates sustainable, long-term returns. 

Here for good.

Health, wellbeing and sustainability are at the core of our investment beliefs. We look forward to working with our Members to make a positive contribution to the environment and human health.