The State Street Global Index Plus (Hedged) Trust (the Fund) has exposure to listed international securities selected from the MSCI World ex-Australia Index. The Fund gains most of this exposure by purchasing units in the State Street Global Index Plus Trust, which excludes tobacco and controversial weapons securities.
The Fund will exclude companies identified by MSCI with significant business activities involving tobacco and those engaged in the production of cluster bombs, landmines, chemical and biological weapons and depleted uranium weapons. The following definitions and thresholds are sourced from MSCI.
Companies that manufacture tobacco products, such as cigars, blunts, cigarettes, beedis, kreteks, smokeless tobacco, snuff, snus, and chewing tobacco. This also includes companies that grow or process raw tobacco leaves.
Companies involved in the production of, or essential components of:
- cluster bombs and munitions, or the essential components of these products;
- anti‐personnel landmines, anti‐vehicle landmines;
- depleted uranium weapons and armour; or
- chemical and biological weapons, or the essential components of these products.
Involvement criteria includes:
- producers of the weapons, or key components of the weapons and ownership of 20% or more of a weapons or components producer. The minimum limit is raised to 50% for financial companies having an ownership in a company that manufactures controversial weapons or key components of controversial weapons;
- being owned 50% or more by a company involved in weapons or components production; and
- companies with any identifiable revenues from the production of controversial weapons or their components, i.e., zero tolerance.
Further information about the MSCI methodology is available on www.msci.com.
We also view corporate governance as an integral part of the investment process. Active ownership plays a prominent role in our duty to act as stewards of our clients assets. We expect strong governance standards from our investee companies and direct engagement with them focuses on advocating change where poor ESG practices place shareholder value at risk. To this end, SSGA has developed Proxy Voting and Issuer Engagement Principles that consider ESG issues in the stewardship process which encompasses all equities for which we have discretion.