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Statement on GUF investment policy

14 June 2024

Over the past month, the Groningen pro-Palestinian protesters have repeatedly used social media to accuse the Groningen University Fund (GUF) of being complicit in the ‘genocide in Gaza’, as we were allegedly investing in companies that are directly or indirectly involved in this. Two of the 21 members of the Supervisory Board of the GUF are the President of the Board of the University and the acting Rector Magnificus. This means that, in accordance with the ‘guilty by association’ principle, this accusation is also aimed at the University.

Needless to say, the Groningen University Fund condemns genocide and all other forms of human rights violations, anywhere in the world.

The above-mentioned serious and unjust accusation is based on outdated and incorrect information. We have repeatedly tried to explain this, for example in an op-ed article in the UKrant of 22 May. In addition, a week after this, we organized an on-site meeting with a delegation of protesters, during which our Treasurer presented full information about all our current investments and explained how carefully we revise our investment portfolio every year.

Our openness and our clear rebuttal of the allegations did not dissuade the protesters from repeating their accusations in a press release on 10 June. Once again, their opinion was based on our Annual Report of 2022 and the entirely incorrect assumption that our 2024 investment portfolio would be identical to that of 2022.

Our investment portfolio consists of European government bonds and mixed shares that have been awarded the maximum score for sustainability by an external organization (Morningstar). For example, we do not invest in the fossil fuel, tobacco, or military industries. Our stock portfolio does not contain any shares in Israeli companies, nor in the British company Melrose Industries mentioned by the protesters. As far as we know, we are not investing in any company that can be directly linked to the Israeli government.

We are disappointed that the anonymous protesters continue to repeat their accusations without making any effort to check their suspicions with us. In our opinion, it is essential to discuss matters and hear both sides of the argument before making any accusations. While we would, of course, be happy to have another meeting with the protesters, we would have preferred to have done so sooner, to prevent having our reputation being unjustly damaged once again. We call on the protesters to immediately rectify their reports about us.

Last modified:12 July 2024 1.38 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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