UM General Board of Pensions Divests from G4S in June 2014

The Divestment Task Force met with an investment officer of the United Methodist General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits (GBPHB) on April 30, 2014. A member of the task force asked if GBPHB held stock in the British company G4S, because it had been in the news in relation to their connection to prisons in Israel where it was alleged that child prisoners were being mistreated. At the time it was believed that the GBPHB portfolio
did not hold G4S stock.

By early June, media reports revealed that Bill Gates had sold his stock in G4S. That is when the task force learned that GBPHB held around $100,000 of G4S stock.  

An email sent from a task force member to GBPHB questioned their G4S ownership and shared reasons why the company was under scrutiny. Our voice, joined with a few others across the denomination, led to the immediate sale of G4S stock.

The story of the United Methodist Pension Board sale of G4S was covered widely by the media, including two stories in the New York Times.  The Susquehanna Conference Task Force discovered the reality that how churches invest their funds is important and that our actions send messages rippling around the world.


Below are links to Pensions statement on the sale and a selection of related stories.

Sale of G4S Shares. General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits website statement
http://www.gbophb.org/investments/resources/g4s/

United Methodist Church Divests from G4S.
United Methodist Kairos Response Press Release.
June 12, 2014
https://www.kairosresponse.org/PressRel_UMC_Divests_G4S.html

Methodists To Sell Shares as a Protest over Israel.
Laurie Goodstein.
New York Times. 
June 12, 2014
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/13/us/methodists-to-sell-shares-as-a-protest-over-israel.html

United Methodist agency divests from G4S.
Linda Bloom.
United Methodist News Service.
June 13, 2014
http://umc-gbcs.org/faith-in-action/united-methodist-agency-divests-from-g4s

Methodist Church Pension Board Links Divestment to Firm’s Role in Israeli Prisons.
Laurie Goodstein. 
New York Times.
June 15, 2014
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/16/us/methodist-church-group-links-divestment-move-to-israel-and-a-firms-prison-role.html?_r=0

Reassessment Prompts Sale of Pension Stock. Linda Bloom.
United Methodist News Service.
June 17, 2014
http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/reassessment-prompts-sale-of-pension-stock