October 31, 2014 · 7 Cheshvan

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Sample Letter to Mutual Fund Manager
If your mutual fund holdings include objectionable companies that operate in Sudan, this letter can be sent to your mutual fund manager to encourage him/her to consider divesting from these companies.

To Whom It May Concern:

I would like to inform [YOUR MUTUAL FUND MANAGER] that I [AM CONSIDERING DIVESTING/HAVE RECENTLY DECIDED TO DIVEST] my personal holdings from a small subset of companies operating in Sudan in response to the government-sponsored genocide in the country’s Darfur region. As you may know, Darfur marks the first time in history that the United States has classified a conflict as genocide while atrocities are still ongoing.

I understand that firms such as [THE HIGHEST OFFENDING COMPANY/COMPANIES PRESENT IN YOUR MUTUAL FUND] are often instrumental in promoting positive development in the countries in which [THE HIGHEST OFFENDING COMPANY/COMPANIES PRESENT IN YOUR MUTUAL FUND] operate(s). However, while foreign direct investment (FDI) usually aids civilian populations and promotes democratization, certain types of FDI in Sudan have been directly or indirectly linked to the facilitation of Darfur’s genocide – a fact documented by numerous governments, non-governmental organizations, and foreign policy experts. It is my view that the Darfur genocide constitutes a crime so uniquely heinous that companies operating in Sudan, especially those operating in sectors that have historically benefited the government more than the civilian population, have a special obligation to ensure that their business activities do not inadvertently or indirectly contribute to the violence.

I strongly urge [YOUR MUTUAL FUND MANAGER] to consider investigating and removing such Highest Offending companies, a list of which can be obtained from the Sudan Divestment Task Force (www.sudandivestment.org), from [NAME OF MUTUAL FUND]. As an individual investor I am joined by more than 100 universities, cities, and states in the United States and around the world already implementing or considering targeted divestment policies for their portfolios.

While I fully recognize that [YOUR MUTUAL FUND MANAGER] has a responsibility to provide clients with services of the highest value at the lowest possible cost, the increasing number of fiduciaries implementing targeted divestment policy suggests that demand is present for offerings tailored accordingly. The small subset of companies worthy of divestment frequently represent such a small percentage of a fund’s overall portfolio that a fund can remove these companies without compromising its current investment strategies. Furthermore, the scrutinized companies can be replaced with similarly situated, equally profitable holdings, making it possible for [YOUR MUTUAL FUND MANAGER] to divest from these companies while still providing top quality investment returns.

Given the current situation in Darfur, I hope that you will seriously consider this request from me and the growing number of investors who seek to avoid investing in companies tied to genocide.

If [YOUR MUTUAL FUND MANAGER] is unwilling to provide Sudan-free investment opportunities, I will be forced to consider moving my [INVESTMENTS/ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT] to fund managers who are willing to provide ex-Sudan alternatives. Please notify me at your earliest convenience of any actions [YOUR MUTUAL FUND MANAGER] is taking on this matter, so that I may make quick and responsible decisions regarding my investments.


Sincerely,

[NAME]
[TITLE]



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