In summer 2019 the Board of the University of Helsinki approved the Principles for responsible investment activities, which emphasise the efficiency and sustainable development of investments. In 2019 the return generated by the listed investments was 21.66%.
“Last year’s return was exceptionally high. However, our focus in investments is on the long term, which puts the emphasis on cost efficiency and diversification,” says Chief Investment Officer Anders Ekholm.
During the year, the University transferred roughly one-third of its €472 million investment portfolio into index funds, whose annual administrative fee is under 0.1% of the capital invested. These funds exclude fossil fuel producers and distributors, as well as businesses whose operations are based on marketing ethically questionable services or products. The share of fossil fuel producers in the portfolio fell approximately by 10% during the year to under 1%.
“Our goal is to remove the remaining fossil fuel producers from our portfolio without undue delay, but in a controlled manner, no later than by the end of 2021,” states Chief Financial Officer Marjo Berglund.
In 2019 a decision was made to publish all new significant investments without delay, in addition to which all investments will be made public in conjunction with the financial statement. New significant investments are published on the University website.
“Our responsibility to our partners and society is organically linked to trust and based on openness. We wish to lead by example also in this,” Berglund adds.