TIAA-CREF Statement on Former Holdings in Companies with Ties to Sudan
New York, January 04, 2010
Last March TIAA-CREF announced plans to intensify pressure on five companies that maintain business relations with the government of Sudan to cease those relations or attempt to ease suffering and end genocide in Darfur.
At that time, TIAA-CREF said it would seek meetings with target companies – PetroChina, CNPC Hong Kong, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Sinopec, and PETRONAS – and would divest by year-end 2009 from those that refused to acknowledge the genocide and engage in a productive dialogue about how to confront it.
While TIAA-CREF met with each of the companies in the ensuing months, there was insufficient progress to warrant continued dialogue with PetroChina, CNPC Hong Kong, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Sinopec and, consequently, TIAA-CREF has sold its holdings in those companies across all funds and accounts as of December 31, 2009.
"Our decision to sell shares in these companies culminated a three-year effort to encourage them to end their ties to Sudan or attempt to end suffering there," said Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., TIAA-CREF’s chief executive. "We have not divested from PETRONAS, which has acknowledged our concerns and engaged in dialogue about how it might address them."
TIAA-CREF’s Policy Statement on Corporate Governance sets a high bar for divestment. The company’s decision regarding portfolio companies with ties to Sudan considered a number of factors. They included the gravity of TIAA-CREF’s concerns in Sudan, the likelihood of successful dialogue with target companies and a conclusion that divestment would have an insignificant impact on the financial performance of participants’ portfolios.
TIAA-CREF (www.tiaa-cref.org) is a national financial services organization with more than $402 billion in combined assets under management (9/30/09) and the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.
TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, and Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., members FINRA, distribute securities products.