The pension plan bought 20,000-plus shares of GEO Group in the first quarter of 2019, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission records. Lisa Papas, a spokesperson for the OTPP, said the fund divested in April from the Florida-based company, which owns or operates over 130 prisons. She said the fund often trades “in and out of companies that are part of major stock indexes.” (CBC)
Talking point: The OTPP had $191.1 billion in assets under management in 2018, of which $31.6 billion is in public stocks, including investments that passively track major markets. This news comes one week after my colleague Zane reported that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) had also sold its investments in GEO Group and in CoreCivic, which operates private prisons and detention centres, as well. The two funds’ divestments come as investors face increased pressure from the public to make socially responsible investments, considering factors like human-rights abuses. The CPPIB faced protests and two separate petitions which gathered a combined 56,000 signatures over its investments in the two U.S. prison firms. A 2018 inspection of several GEO Group-owned detention facilities found issues like inadequate health care, restrictive segregation and rotting food.