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Common Investment Fund (FOI)

Common Investment Fund (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 27 June 2016.



For each fund in the "Common Investment Fund" please identify to the nearest tenth of a percent the proportion, and also the total value in GBP, of that fund that is invested in:

a) Gambling

b) Armaments & defence

c) Alcohol

d) Tobacco

e) Pornography

f) Fossil Fuels

g) Animal testing


Furthermore, from the Freedom of Information request dated 28 September 2015, I understand that indirect positions in companies through pooled investment vehicles are not kept track of by the States.

Could the rationale for not obtaining this detailed information be provided, given that it would likely be very easy for a large investor such as the States to request and receive such information?

Is the gathering of more detailed information on the specific holdings within pooled investments funds something that is being considered by the States?


In order to simplify this response the request has been broken down into two questions:


This information is not held by the States nor by the underlying investment managers carrying out investment activities on behalf of the Common Investment Fund (CIF) as the above classifications do not fall into industry recognised sector classification (ie health care, energy, telecommunications) by which the States and their managers monitor their investments.

Article 10 Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 refers, see detail below.

The CIF holds over 2,000 direct equity holdings. Identifying firms involved in the listed activities would require detailed analysis of the States holdings at the granular level. Such analysis is difficult to produce given the range of activities in which many modern multinationals are involved. Furthermore, there is no industry norm to identify the degree to which involvement would constitute being in the above industries. Such analysis is sensitive upon the initial definitions applied.

To illustrate the difficulties involved in such assessments consider Samsung, in which the States holds shares. This company provides a number of electronic components utilised in the defence industry so could be deemed to meet the definition of an investment in armaments and defence. Similarly, most supermarkets, including otherwise ethical holdings such as the Co-op, sell both tobacco and alcohol so could be deemed to meet the definition of an investment in alcohol and tobacco. Given the difficulties in identifying the proportion of the value of a shareholding which should be attributable to such underlying activities, it is rare for managers, not specifically running ethical investment mandates, to monitor and report such information.

It is considered that the work required to identify the level of detail requested would take in excess of 12.5 hours. Article 16 Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies, see below.


Various analyses including sector and country breakdown and stock analysis is available for both pooled and segregated pools. Detailed analysis is regularly obtained and reviewed. This information, however, does not include the ethical characteristics requested in the first part of the question.


Relevant legislation applied:





10 Obligation of scheduled public authority to confirm or deny holding information

(1) Subject to paragraph (2), if:

     (a) a person makes a request for information to a scheduled public authority; and

     (b) the authority does not hold the information,

      it must inform the applicant accordingly.

(2) If a person makes a request for information to a scheduled public authority and:

     (a) the information is absolutely exempt information or qualified exempt information; or

     (b) if the authority does not hold the information, the information would be absolutely

     exempt information or qualified exempt information if it had held it,

     the authority may refuse to inform the applicant whether or not it holds the information if it  

     is satisfied that, in all the circumstances of the case, it is in the public interest to do so.

(3) If a scheduled public authority so refuses:

     (a) it shall be taken for the purpose of this Law to have refused to supply the information 

     requested on the ground that it is absolutely exempt information; and

     (b) it need not inform the applicant of the specific ground upon which it is refusing the 

     request or, if the authority does not hold the information, the specific ground upon which it 

     would have refused the request had it held the information.


16 A scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information if cost excessive

(1) A scheduled public authority that has been requested to supply information may refuse to

     supply the information if it estimates that the cost of doing so would exceed an amount

     determined in the manner prescribed by Regulations.

(2) Despite paragraph (1), a scheduled public authority may still supply the information requested

     on payment to it of a fee determined by the authority in the manner prescribed by Regulations

     for the purposes of this Article.

(3) Regulations may provide that, in such circumstances as the Regulations prescribe, if two or

     more requests for information are made to a scheduled public authority:

     (a) by one person; or

     (b) by different persons who appear to the scheduled public authority to be acting in 

     concert or in pursuance of a campaign,

     the estimated cost of complying with any of the requests is to be taken to be the estimated

     total cost of complying with all of them.  

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