March 1, 2022
When Socrates faced his executioners in 399 B.C., he declared to his fellow Athenians that a man “ought to only consider whether in doing anything he is doing right or wrong, acting the part of a good man or of a bad.”
U.S. and UK investors must ask themselves this same question following Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.
Russia’s tragic war of choice against a sovereign nation risks $58 billion for the top 50 U.S. investors and top 30 UK investors who own shares in Russia’s leading publicly traded companies.
These sums will never compare to the loss of life.
These investments raise essential questions about these investors’ commitments to ESG implementation, specifically human rights and the social wellbeing of the regions within which these companies operate.
U.S. and UK investors have equity positions in all 30 companies in Bloomberg’s Russia Large & Mid Cap Price Return Index that covers 85% of the market capitalization of the Russian market.
These 30 companies provide a core tax base that supports Russia’s military operations that killed at least 137 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians during the first 24 hours of the war.
These investors now must answer to their shareholders, stakeholders, and the Ukrainian public regarding how their $58 billion investment can immediately stop this brazen assault on a sovereign nation.
Today, investors must state how they will use their capital and influence to immediately stop this war.
As the course of the war takes shape, and Ukrainian suffering intensifies, U.S. and UK investors in Russian companies would do well to remember Socrates’ parting words after being condemned to death, “O my friends, to punish them… if they seem to care about riches, or anything, more than about virtue.”
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are editorial comments of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Responsible Alpha.
Source: Bloomberg Finance, L.P., accessed February 24, 2022. All figures are estimates only.