Making a return is one thing. Doing it responsibly is more challenging, but we think more rewarding.

Our Members have long been concerned with the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders. That’s why our objective is to achieve excellent long-term returns for the investments we make on your behalf in a way that makes a better, positive contribution to the environment and human health.

Beaker being filled with oil floating at the top, showing the different between responsible investments and the oil industry and how the two don't mix

As you can see, the oil industry and ethical investments don't mix.

The responsible investment policies of the Medical Assurance Society KiwiSaver Plan and the Retirement Savings Plan include three key principles:

1. We will not invest in companies whose principal business activity is

  • the manufacture and sale of armaments;
  • the manufacture and sale of tobacco; or
  • the exploration, extraction, refining or processing of fossil fuels or who are utilities that burn them.

2. We assess the environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices of a company when considering investing in company shares.

We invest in the shares of over 500 companies. Where we are a considering investing in the shares of a company, we use an international expert to assess the environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices of the company. Examples of the factors that are considered in this assessment are outlined in the table below.

Environmental Social Governance
  • Renewable energy sources
  • Natural resource preservation
  • Air emission and air quality
  • Water use and conservation
  • Workforce exploitation
  • Consumer privacy
  • Employment of minorities and women
  • Income inequality
  • Board Independence
  • Executive compensation
  • Voting rights
  • Board diversity

Within the responsible investing mandate of our international equities, we're choosing to only buy shares in companies that are leaders in their industries with their environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. We don't consider companies that are involved in serious controversies - irrespective of how good their ESG practices are. 

3. As a shareholder, we regularly engage with companies regarding their ESG practices and carefully consider all voting matters.

We employ some of the world’s largest and most influential investment parties. These parties regularly engage with the companies in which we invest regarding their environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. They also carefully consider all voting matters. Our key partners are:

  • BlackRock: the world’s largest investment manager, with funds under management of nearly US6trn (as at 31 Dec 2018). BlackRock is the primary investment manager for the international equities part of MAS Funds.
  • Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS): the world’s leading provider of corporate governance and responsible investment solutions for asset owners, asset managers, hedge funds, and asset service providers.  ISS are responsible for engagement and voting in the Australasian equities part of MAS Funds (From 1 March 2019).

We also apply these polices to MAS reserves - the money MAS holds to invest for the future and to pay life and general insurance claims. In total, we have more than $1.6 billion of investment funds that are playing their part for global health and well-being.


We are investing in futures

We're investing in futures.

Sustainable Returns. 

We think that responsible investing is not just the right thing to do - it’s good for business too. Along with others, we see the demand for fossil fuels waning over the next 10 years. MAS has the opportunity to invest in those industries that have the greatest potential for wealth creation for future generations.  

There is an increasing pool of evidence that investing responsibly does not result in sacrificing investment returns. Research by Deutsche Bank (2012) found that responsible investment was shown to have a positive impact in 77% of studies, 22% showed no impact, while only 1% had a negative impact.

The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (the world’s leading proponent of responsible investing) agrees. According to their research, incorporating ESG factors into the investment decision making process better manages risk and generates sustainable, long-term returns. 

Here for good.

Health, well-being and sustainability are at the core of our investment beliefs. We look forward to working with our Members to make a positive contribution to the environment and human health. 

Principles for Responsible Investment

The six Principles for Responsible Investment are a voluntary and aspirational set of investment principles that offer a menu of possible actions for incorporating ESG issues into investment practice.

The Principles were developed by investors, for investors. In implementing them, signatories contribute to developing a more sustainable global financial system. 

Certified Responsible Investment

RIAA manages the world’s first certification program for providers of responsible investment products and services. Developed extensive industry consultation, the Responsible Investment Certification Program was driven by investors requests for help in making informed choices regarding investment opportunities that take into account environmental, social, ethical and governance considerations as well as financial returns.

Created in partnership with the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) and the Victorian Government, the Certification Program aims to promote consistent, standardised disclosure and education about responsible investment.

The Trustees of the Medical Assurance Society KiwiSaver/Retirement Savings Plans (the Plans) are the issuer and manager of the Plans. Copies of the Product Disclosure Statements (PDS) are available here and here. If you would like to receive a hard copy of the PDS, or for personal, tailored advice, you can talk to a MAS adviser by phoning 0800 800 627 or emailing