QUIC’s investments in fossil fuels outweigh investments in renewables

Industry represents more than $120,000 of counsel’s holdings

Smith School of Business on Union St.
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The Queen’s University Investment Counsel (QUIC), a coveted launchpad for finance hopefuls in the Commerce program, holds more investments in fossil fuels than renewables.
 
The counsel manages $1.4 million in assets and its analysts manage real portfolios—the club holds investments in companies like Amazon, Pfizer, and Disney. 
 
Farthest down on their breakdown of portfolio performance is an exhaustive list of QUIC’s equity holdings in energy and utilities. The industry makes up approximately seven per cent of holdings, representing over $120,000 invested in oil and gas firms like Exxon, Schlumberger, and Canadian Natural Resources. $104,000 is invested in the QUIC Canadian Fund, and an additional $20,000 are part of the Mackenzie World Equities Fund.
 
Four per cent of the group’s investments are in companies focused on alternative or renewable energy.
 
QUIC’s investments were initially made possible in 2010 when they were formally established as a counsel through fundraising initiatives.
 
These initiatives earned $500,000 in seed money from the Smith School of Business, an amount later matched in 2014 by a donation from Mackenzie Investments. 
 
In 2018, QUIC became eligible to receive student funds from the Commerce Society after the two groups signed a memorandum of understanding.The ComSoc CORE fund, a Society fund that supports club activities, is financed by student fees and allocated upon request.
 
Prior to having access to the CORE fund, QUIC relied on “ad hoc alumni donations or corporate sponsors” to support its events. Mark Nerland, current chief executive officer of QUIC, clarified in an email that the fund has never contributed to the group’s operating budget or investments.
 
Nerland also detailed that QUIC currently has no negative screens on the fossil fuel industry, meaning that “rather than eliminating companies 
based on specific factors, [QUIC] takes into consideration all market and consumer trends—this includes a positive trend towards renewable resources and sustainable investing.”
 
Those interested in learning more about QUIC’s investments can attend weekly meetings held by the counsel every Monday at 7 p.m. in Goodes Hall, room 304.
 

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