The Mount Allison Board of Regents’ Executive Committee voted unanimously to approve recommendations related to Board operations and responsible investing at a meeting on Friday, April 21. This followed an earlier discussion with Regents.
Approving the recommendations completes a year-long process that began in March 2016 and is the result of the work of two Board sub-committees, the Responsible Investment Sub-Committee and the Governance Operations Sub-Committee.
“We deeply appreciate the work of the members of these two sub-committees, who tackled very complex questions,” says Board Chair Ron Outerbridge. “Their recommendations provide clear next steps for the Board to take to support responsible investment as well as governance at Mount Allison.”
The following recommendations concerning responsible investment have been approved for implementation:
- Updating applicable investment policies to consider environmental, social, and governance factors (ESG);
- Providing donors with the option to invest new donations in a fund that excludes or limits investment in certain sectors;
- Becoming a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (UNPRI);
- Making available a list of the underlying stock and bond holdings of the University’s pooled funds; and
- Producing an annual report on the University’s responsible investment activities.
The sub-committee also considered an investment strategy that would require the University to exclude certain stocks or categories of stocks from its investments. However, it was concluded that such a strategy does not provide an ongoing process to address ESG factors with investment managers, would be costly to administer, and would not be consistent with the Board’s fiduciary responsibilities. Accordingly, the subcommittee recommended the University not adopt this approach. For more information on the University’s approach, visit climate change and responsible investing.
The Governance Operations Sub-committee made three recommendations that were accepted by the Board.
The first recommendation defined three different classifications of Board meeting — regular, in camera, or open. Regular meetings are for Board members and invited participants, while in camera meetings are for Regents only and generally deal with land, legal, or labour matters. Any individual may attend an open meeting as an observer. The Board commits to holding at least one open meeting per year.
The Board also approved a recommendation to make Board minutes publicly available, including posting them on the Mount Allison website, and another encouraging ongoing professional development and training for Regents.
The Board will immediately begin implementing the recommendations. Progress updates will be provided to the community as we move forward.