On the 8th May 2015 the University responded to two similar freedom of information (FOI) requests regarding its investment holdings. This information inspired the subsequent staff letter requesting support for socially and environmentally responsible investment. The original requests and their responses are reproduced below:
LS Ref – 10516: List of all third parties that are involved in the management of all trust and hedge funds in which the university has investments held.
“I have been given to understand that the fund in which the University had its endowment investment has been closed, so – with the exception of the Royal Dutch Shell shares which you may recall – all the University’s endowment capital is held as cash on bank deposit while a replacement fund for investment is found. The University therefore currently has no third parties involved in the management of trust or hedge funds in which the University has investments.”
LS Ref – 10621: Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, I am requesting a list of the companies the University currently invests in through its endowment funds, along with the amount invested in each company.
I am also requesting a list of the companies the University has invited on to the main campus who have operated in a “public” area of the university (including but not limited to; the Students Union, concourse, Garden Court, marquees set up for Careers Fairs, etc.) whether this is to sell a product (such as food), recruit students as customers or to work for that company. I would like this information for the past 5 years.
“From another FOI request, I have been given to understand that the fund in which the University had its endowment investment has been closed, so – with the exception of 4628 Royal Dutch Shell shares donated to the University and held to fund an endowment – all the University’s endowment capital is held as cash on bank deposit while a replacement fund for investment is found.
As regards companies invited onto the main campus – providing a full and accurate picture may not be possible at all – and certainly not within the cost/time limit (18 hours = £450 costed at £25/hour) set by the Freedom of Information Act. Rather than refusing this part of your request on cost/time grounds, could I ask you to reformulate it so that it covers what is most important to you without going over the limit?”