About ten years ago, Dr Bronwyn King was a doctor working on a lung cancer ward in Melbourne, Australia. Today, she fronts a campaign that, according to its website, has persuaded financial institutions with as much as $11tn in assets under management to join its global movement calling for a tobacco-free world.
Since Dr King launched her Tobacco Free Portfolios campaign, organisations including insurance giant Axa, French bank BNP Paribas and the UK pension fund NEST have all committed to divesting from cigarette companies.
In this week’s podcast, she tells Oliver Telling the story behind how she first got into the world of investing.
Amid a perfect storm of government regulation, changing consumer attitudes and the coronavirus pandemic, she also explains why she now thinks there is a financial case, as well as an ethical case, for investors to pull their money from tobacco firms.
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Dr King points out that many people have prioritsed their health this year. But lockdown has also led others to smoke and indulge other vices while trapped at home. Will this trend continue after the pandemic?
With some people lighting up more this year, Imperial Brands (IMB) has seen the ongoing decline in cigarette sales slow down. But the IC still thinks it's time for investors to sell the tobacco giant.