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Toronto-headquartered asset manager NEI Investments has decided to offload its Russian holdings following Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The company said it will also not make new purchases of Russian securities and apply pressure through corporate engagement with firms that have a presence or interest in Russia.

The firm will also direct its sub-advisors to divest Russian securities as soon as possible.

NEI’s Russian securities exposure across its funds is negligible as the firm began to cut its holdings prior to the invasion.

As of 3 March 2022, it had zero exposure to Russian sovereign debt or currency, and lower than 1% exposure representing $3.55m in the NEI Emerging Markets Fund.

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NEI Investments and Aviso Wealth senior vice-president and CIO John Bai said: “Responsible investors everywhere have been called to action. Our decision to suspend new purchases and divest existing holdings was not taken lightly, but there is no question it is the right thing to do.

“With this action, we strongly believe we are delivering on our purpose of helping investors achieve their financial goals and empowering them to make a positive difference in the world.”

Several asset managers are moving to sell down their Russian assets after the US and its allies imposed an array of sanctions on Russia following its military attack on Ukraine.

British insurer and asset manager Royal LondonCEO Barry O’Dwyer said this week that the firm is planning to divest its Russian assets ‘as soon as possible’.

British asset manager abrdn and hedge fund Man Group are also on the list of major money managers who have been cutting their positions in Russia in recent weeks.

Last week, Denmark-based asset manager Nordea Asset Management (NAM) said that it is planning to exit its investments in Russia.