New Report Makes Case for Tobacco Divestment

Genus Capital releases 'The Tobacco Report,' with 20 years of data supporting tobacco divestment

Vancouver, BC, Feb. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Genus Capital Management, Canada's leader in fossil free and impact investing, today released a report on tobacco divesting, showing that divesting from tobacco stocks would not have negatively affected returns over 20 years. The announcement coincides with Genus removing tobacco from all of its portfolios, and becoming a signatory to the United-Nations supported Tobacco Free Finance Pledge.

"Though individual investors may not realize they're funding the proliferation of harmful tobacco products, it's common practice in the asset management industry to use tobacco stocks to diversify," said Genus' VP of Sustainable Research, Mike Thiessen. "Our tests show that divesting from tobacco as far back as 1999 would not have negatively affected financial returns for investors. As such, we're proud to be among the first firms in Canada to go tobacco-free."

Dr. Bronwyn King, MBBS, FRANZCR, CEO of Tobacco Free Portfolios, added "This new research adds to a growing body of evidence demonstrating that investors do not need to invest in tobacco to achieve excellent returns."

Here are some of the key takeaways from the research:                                                                                                                                      

  • An index portfolio without tobacco didn’t underperform the index with tobacco over the last 20 years                                                                                          
  • Portfolios with very strict tobacco exclusions have outperformed the market in Genus' six-year study                                                                           
  • Tobacco is very harmful to the health of smokers, costs the economy trillions, and disproportionately hurts the most vulnerable                                                                                            
  • There are substantial headwinds for the tobacco industry going forward – lower cigarette consumption, global taxes, litigation                                                               

Results from six years of testing found that the performance of a tobacco-excluded portfolio does not underperform the index performance even at different levels of exclusion. Moreover, portfolios outperformed the index when tobacco involvement was very low.
For more information and to view the full report, please visit

About Genus Capital Management Inc.

Genus Capital Management Inc. is an independent investment management firm based in Vancouver, founded in 1989. We are passionate about creating innovative investment solutions that meet our clients' changing needs. With more than $1.5 billion in assets under management, Genus' clients include leading environmental organizations, foundations, and individuals across Canada. Today, Genus Capital is at the forefront of Canada's Divest-Invest movement with a complete suite of fossil fuel free funds that are tailored to meet the needs of investors who wish to invest in a sustainable, clean energy future.


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