Pension funds should take social responsibility into account when making investment decisions, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said Wednesday, May 28, at the closing session of a two-day international seminar on the industry in Rio de Janeiro. ?Funds need to be more caring and compassionate than a Citibank, for example,? he stressed. Previ, Petros and Funcef are already drawing up standardized criteria for socially responsible investing.
Lula?s allusion to Citibank may not have been fortuitous. Citibank is the largest shareholder in CVC Opportunity Equity Partners L.P., an investment fund managed by Opportunity and one of the most important holders of equity in Brazilian telephone companies. The pension funds, particularly Previ, accuse Opportunity of taking only Citibank?s interests into account in its strategy for managing their investments in CVC Opportunity Equity Partners FIA, the local arm of the Citibank-dominated fund. Both arms of CVC Opportunity Equity Partners own significant holdings in Brasil Telecom, Telemig Celular, Amazonia Celular, and Telemar.