UK insurer and asset manager M&G’s CEO John Foley has deemed any future investment in Russia as ‘unthinkable’ as the firm looks to shed its existing holdings in the country, reported Reuters.

The company has only 0.1% of its assets under management linked to Russia and would divest it is when possible, said Foley.

He added that M&G marked its Russian assets almost to zero and has no plans for further investments in Russia for the foreseeable future.

Foley was quoted as saying: “Russia is an uninvestable market from a ratings perspective, any additional investment is clearly unthinkable.”

M&G did not have funds at risk of suspension.

Foley said: “There isn’t a fund where there is any significant enough exposure into these markets that would warrant our attention.

“We are monitoring the situation all the time but there’s nothing that we need to do.”

Several asset managers, including Pictet, Amundi, and BNP Paribas, were forced to freeze Russia-linked equity funds with over $3bn in assets amid the market turmoil following Russia’s military attack on Ukraine. 

Meanwhile, M&G reported a fall in 2021 pretax profit. The group’s adjusted operating profit before tax stood at £721, compared to £788m in the previous year.

However, the firm’s assets under management and administration rose 0.8% year-on-year to £370bn in 2021.

The firm also announced a £500m share buy-back programme.

Foleysaid: “In light of this performance and our strong capital generation we are able to announce today £500 million to be returned to shareholders by way of a buy-back programme, expected to start shortly.

“Together with dividends paid, we will have returned £1.8bn of capital to shareholders, equivalent to 32% of M&G’s market value at demerger. Alongside this, we have achieved our annual shareholder cost savings target of £145m one year ahead of schedule.”