Colonial First State FirstChoice (CFS) is a public offer retail fund with $83 billion in funds under management, and 12% invest ed in its authorised MySuper Product. The MySuper product called ‘FirstChoice Life Stage’ is offered as 12 sub-options according to a member’s year of birth.
CFS was previously wholly owned by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, but in 2020 announced that 55% is to be sold to US global investment company KKR.
CFS should update the definition of controversial weapons to ensure nuclear weapons companies from all countries are excluded from all options, with a 0% revenue threshold, and divest from all holdings in nuclear weapons producers.
CFS Responsible Investment Policy and Product Disclosure Statement does not include nuclear weapons in its definition of controversial weapons.
CFS was a signatory to a 2019 open letter from institutional investors calling on index providers to remove controversial weapons from global indices. However, the letter narrowly defined nuclear weapons as those “produced by countries that have not signed the 1970 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)” . Given that the USA, France, UK, Russia and China have signed the NPT, the call to exclude nuclear weapons does not apply to the majority of nuclear weapons producers.
CFS holds close to $30 million in 18 nuclear weapons producers through the 59 investment funds used by its FirstChoice Employer Super, representing 0.19% of all assets held. The amount for the MySuper Lifestage product is $23.5 million. This represents 0.2% of the MySuper holdings. The investments were in both equity and debt securities.
Read our detailed assessment of CFS’ policy and practice in our 2021 report.