Vision Super media release
4 June 2019
Industry super fund, Vision Super, was the only Australian super fund to sign a letter to the Financial Accounting Standards Board on their Revised Exposure Draft for the Proposed Accounting Standards Update from investors worth over $1 trillion.
Vision Super CEO, Stephen Rowe, said that while tax disclosures might seem like an esoteric subject, income and tax information are essential to gauging the risks of investing in a company.
“ESG isn’t just about environmental factors,” Stephen Rowe said.
“The social and governance factors are also very important for a company’s long-term performance, and long-term performance is what determines returns for Vision Super members.
“Consideration of ESG factors is built into our whole investment approach. We were one of the earliest signatories to the UN Principles of Responsible Investment, and participate in the Tax Engagement Group.
“Authorities around the world are taking a more active stance on tax evasion, and companies that are structuring their affairs to avoid tax present a risk to investors, including to Australians who are invested in international shares through their super fund.
“Multinationals that have found themselves at odds with tax authorities in recent years include some big names like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, McDonalds, Nike, Shell and Starbucks – a lot of Australians have money invested in these companies because of their super.
“That’s why we signed the letter calling for greater disclosures – the proposals from the Financial Accounting Standards Board only propose to look at US vs non-US information, and we believe information at a country level is necessary to really understand the risks a company is taking, and how that might affect their performance in the long-term.”
Vision Super was recently recognised by the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility as one of only three super funds that have consistently and clearly demonstrated that their voting is consistent with their responsible investment policies.
The letter can be found here.