Investment Exclusions

Ethical Exclusions

“Wespath shall endeavor to exclude from investment the securities of companies that produce products and/or provide services that are not aligned with United Methodist values as described in the Social Principles, ¶717 of The Book of Discipline 2016 and Resolution 4071 (“Investment Ethics”) of The Book of Resolutions 2016 provided that to do so does not abrogate [Wespath’s] fiduciary responsibility as described in ¶1504.14.”
    - Wespath’s Statement of Administrative Investment Policy

Since 1908, Wespath has aspired to reflect the values of The United Methodist Church (UMC) in achieving our investment objectives. Wespath’s Ethical Exclusion policy restricts investing in the securities of certain companies based on long-standing UMC religious beliefs about social concerns.

This policy guides us in avoiding investments in any company or entity whose core business activity involves the production, assembly, direct sale, distribution, operation, or marketing of:

  1. Alcoholic beverages
  2. Tobacco products
  3. Adult entertainment
  4. Weapons
  5. Gambling
  6. Privately-operated correctional facilities

Generally, a “core business” is one that accounts for 10% or more of a company’s revenue derived from the excluded products and/or services, and discontinuation of the activity is likely to materially impact the company’s operations. Different thresholds apply for restaurants and suppliers of key components to the products and services included in our policies.

For our full ethical exclusions policy, please review Wespath’s Statement of Administrative Investment Policy.

Sustainability-related Financial Risk Exclusions

As a long-term investor, Wespath favors investing in the securities of companies that have sustainable business practices.

To assist in identifying and managing environmental, social and governance (ESG)-related financial risk, Wespath’s board of directors adopted a policy on the management of excessive sustainability risk (MESR) in 2014 (found in Wespath’s Statement of Administrative Investment Policy). MESR recognizes that there may be instances when a particular issue or set of companies or industries expose investors to high levels of risk. In such instances, the Wespath’s board may adopt an investment guideline that will apply additional limits regarding company securities eligible for purchase.

Subsequently, Wespath’s board adopted two investment guidelines related to:

For a Q&A about the development of the MESR policy, click here.

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