Brandeis University Divests Some of Its South African Holdings

Brandeis University has sold its stock in three U.S. companies that were found not to be in compliance with university policies governing investments in firms doing business in South Africa, Brandeis president Evelyn E. Handler has announced.

The three companies whose stocks were sold are Reynolds and Reynolds Company, Schlumberger Ltd. and Union Camp Corp. The total value of the stocks is approximately $200,000, about 6.5 percent of the university’s holdings in companies doing business in South Africa.

The action is the result of a new policy on South Africa-related stocks adopted by the university’s Board of Trustees this summer. The policy requires that companies in the Brandeis portfolio with South Africa operations subscribe to the expanded Sullivan Principles, which call for activities beyond the workplace in ameliorating the plight of South African blacks.

The Board also voted to consider full divestment in May 1987 if significant reform of South Africa’s apartheid policies has not occurred.

The Board’s measures also prohibit new investments in companies not currently in the university’s endowment portfolio that enter South Africa after January 1, 1987. They also continue the board’s policy of selling stock in companies that do not earn the highest performance ratings under the Sullivan Principles, to which Brandeis has subscribed since 1977 in governing its South Africa-related investments.

Following the Board’s action this summer, Handler sent letters to all South Africa-related companies in the university’s portfolio, asking for “substantive details of the company’s active involvement, future plans and commitment to ending the system of apartheid in South Africa.”

ACTION REGARDING THREE FIRMS

“Most firms are in compliance with our policies,” said Handler. “Those that appeared not to be were subject to further investigation. “In the case of two of those companies whose stock had been purchased earlier this year, we could not verify to our satisfaction that they had signed the Sullivan Principles. In the case of the third firm, the university treasurer asked our investment manager to double-check it compliance with our policies and new information led to the sale of its stock.”

The investment in Schlumberger was reversed as soon as the university officials became aware of the holding, Handler said. The Reynolds and Reynolds stock was sold because the university was unable to verify that the company had signed the Sullivan Principles even though the company indicated that it had applied to become a Sullivan signatory.

The investment managers who purchased Union Camp stock were unaware of the fact that the company was doing business in South Africa, she said. Brandeis’ new procedures governing South Africa-related investments caused the management firm to recheck the company’s holdings. They discovered that, since their last check, Union Camp had purchased a British firm doing business in South Africa that had not signed the Sullivan Principles.

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