Statement on Request by Jewish Voice for Peace
June 24, 2010
While TIAA-CREF acknowledges participants’ varying views on Israeli and Palestinian policies and the Gaza Strip and West Bank, we are unable to alter our investment policy in accordance with those views. Our responsibility to earn a competitive financial return on the retirement savings entrusted to us by 3.7 million participants obliges us to invest in a diverse line-up of companies across all sectors of the global economy.
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Questions & Answers
Why not divest from such companies as Caterpillar, Northrop Grumman, and Motorola?
Our responsibility to earn a competitive financial return on the retirement savings entrusted to us obliges us to invest in a diverse line-up of companies across all sectors of the global economy. The holdings at issue comply fully with U.S. law.
Last year you divested from companies with ties to Sudan. How similar is the situation in the Gaza Strip and West Bank?
Our decision to sell shares in certain companies with ties to Sudan culminated a three-year effort to encourage them to take affirmative steps to ease human rights abuses and end genocide in the region in which they operate.
Our divestment action was consistent with U.S. foreign policy, as enshrined in the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act of 2007, which made it easier for mutual funds and private pension fund managers to sell their investments in companies with ties to the Sudanese government.
We believe that concerns about the situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are best addressed by U.S. foreign policy and lend themselves less to using one’s shareholder status to influence portfolio companies.
For more on our divestment from Sudan, click here;
Click here (PDF) more on our engagement policy and practices;
Read more on socially responsible investing (PDF) at TIAA-CREF.
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