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War Jolts ESG Funds That Waited Too Long to Unload Russia Assets

The Ukraine invasion is sending a wake-up call to investors holding stakes in countries run by autocrats.

A destroyed military facility in the city of Brovary outside Kyiv on March 1.

A destroyed military facility in the city of Brovary outside Kyiv on March 1.

Photographer: Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images

The same morning Russia invaded Ukraine, the people running the Church of England’s $5 billion pension fund decided they’d seen enough, and quickly went to work to clear their portfolio of Russian investments.

At that point, there were still buyers. By March 1, they'd unwound their entire 8 million-pound ($11 million) stake.