Aflac Incorporated Becomes Signatory to Principles for Responsible Investment
COLUMBUS, Ga., December 14, 2021 /3BL Media/ -- Aflac Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) announced that it has become a signatory of Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the leading global network of asset owners, asset managers and service providers committed to incorporating its six Principles, which offer a blueprint of possible actions for incorporating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues into its investment and ownership decisions.
Aflac Global Investments, as the entity responsible for investing and protecting the policyholder funds entrusted to it by Aflac Incorporated's insurance subsidiaries, published an ESG Investing Policy at the end of 2020 that applied to the nearly $129 billion of general account assets, including assets managed by third-party asset managers. Aflac Incorporated ended 2020 with impact and sustainable investments with over $1.7 billion of private and public investments in bonds and other debt instruments, as well as private equity. Then, in March 2021, Aflac Incorporated announced that it had closed its inaugural sustainability bond, which further reinforced the company's longstanding commitment to upholding its core values of a "people-first" business approach that balances purpose and profit and operating with the utmost respect for the environment and the communities it serves. By signing PRI, Aflac Incorporated and Aflac Global Investments are taking the next natural step in advancing their responsible investing framework.
President and Chief Operating Officer of Aflac Incorporated Frederick J. Crawford commented: "Integrating ESG principles into Aflac Incorporated's business has been a critical part of our operations for more than 30 years, even before it was widely referred to as 'ESG.' Naturally, our commitment extends to our core investment philosophy, which Aflac Global Investments practices for evaluating every investment decision we make. We believe that being true to what our company stands for, including the investments we make, is just as important as the products and services we provide, and becoming a PRI signatory underscores that commitment to our policyholders, to investors and to our customers. Our work to date has paved the way for what we believe is helping to make a direct and measurable positive impact on society and the environment."
Aflac Incorporated Executive Vice President; Global Chief Investment Officer and President of Aflac Asset Management LLC Eric M. Kirsch added, "When we think about the business of Aflac, which includes investments, we want to have purpose and do measurable good for society and the planet. Becoming a PRI signatory reinforces our practice of integrating ESG factors into Aflac Global Investments' core investment philosophy. We believe this leads to better decisions with respect to the sustainability of an investment and its risk and return profile, while helping to make a positive financial and social impact on all of Aflac's stakeholders."
PRI CEO Fiona Reynolds said: "We are very pleased to welcome Aflac Incorporated as a PRI signatory. The insurance sector is increasingly visible in sustainable investing, and we hope that Aflac Incorporated joining the PRI encourages others in the sector to join them in recognizing the importance of integrating ESG factors into investment and ownership decisions. We look forward to working with the team."
ABOUT AFLAC INCORPORATED
Aflac Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) is a Fortune 500 company helping provide protection to more than 50 million people through its subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S., where it is a leading supplemental insurer by paying cash fast when policyholders get sick or injured. For more than six decades, insurance policies of Aflac Incorporated's subsidiaries have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. Aflac Life Insurance Japan is the leading provider of medical and cancer insurance in Japan where it insures 1 in 4 households. For 15 consecutive years, Aflac Incorporated has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2021, Fortune included Aflac Incorporated on its list of World's Most Admired Companies for the 20th time, and Bloomberg added Aflac Incorporated to its Gender-Equality Index, which tracks the financial performance of public companies committed to supporting gender equality through policy development, representation and transparency, for the second consecutive year. To find out how to get help with expenses health insurance doesn't cover, get to know us at aflac.com. Investors may learn more about Aflac Incorporated and its commitment to ESG and social responsibility at investors.aflac.com and esg.aflac.com.
ABOUT AFLAC GLOBAL INVESTMENTS
Aflac Global Investments refers to Aflac Asset Management LLC, Aflac Asset Management Japan Ltd., and Aflac GI Holdings LLC., which are the asset management subsidiaries of Aflac Incorporated. Aflac Global Investments is responsible for managing the invested assets of Aflac Incorporated's insurance subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S. As of December 2020, Aflac Global Investments managed nearly $129 billion in general account assets and had 133 investment and support professionals who work at its offices in New York and Tokyo.
The PRI works to understand the investment implications of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and to support its international network of investor signatories in incorporating these factors into their investment and ownership decisions. The PRI acts in the long-term interests of its signatories, of the financial markets and economies in which they operate and ultimately of the environment and society as a whole. Launched in New York in 2006, the PRI has grown to more than 4,300 signatories, managing over US $121 trillion AUM.
The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" to encourage companies to provide prospective information, so long as those informational statements are identified as forward-looking and are accompanied by meaningful cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements. The company desires to take advantage of these provisions. This document contains cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected herein, and in any other statements made by company officials in communications with the financial community and contained in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Forward-looking statements are not based on historical information and relate to future operations, strategies, financial results or other developments. Furthermore, forward-looking information is subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties. In particular, statements containing words such as "expect," "anticipate," "believe," "goal," "objective," "may," "should," "estimate," "intends," "projects," "will," "assumes," "potential," "target," "outlook" or similar words as well as specific projections of future results, generally qualify as forward-looking. Aflac undertakes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements.
The company cautions readers that the following factors, in addition to other factors mentioned from time to time, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements:
- difficult conditions in global capital markets and the economy, including those caused by COVID-19
- defaults and credit downgrades of investments
- exposure to significant interest rate risk
- concentration of business in Japan
- significant valuation judgments in determination of expected credit losses recorded on the Company's investments
- decreases in the Company's financial strength or debt ratings
- decline in creditworthiness of other financial institutions
- concentration of the Company's investments in any particular single-issuer or sector
- the effects of COVID-19 and its variants (both known and emerging), and any resulting economic effects and government interventions, on the Company's business and financial results
- ability to attract and retain qualified sales associates, brokers, employees, and distribution partners
- deviations in actual experience from pricing and reserving assumptions
- ability to continue to develop and implement improvements in information technology systems
- interruption in telecommunication, information technology and other operational systems, or a failure to maintain the security, confidentiality or privacy of sensitive data residing on such systems
- subsidiaries' ability to pay dividends to the Parent Company
- inherent limitations to risk management policies and procedures
- limited availability of acceptable yen-denominated investments
- foreign currency fluctuations in the yen/dollar exchange rate
- differing judgments applied to investment valuations
- the level of sales of Aflac Japan products in the Japan Post channel
- tax rates applicable to the Company may change
- failure to comply with restrictions on policyholder privacy and information security
- extensive regulation and changes in law or regulation by governmental authorities
- competitive environment and ability to anticipate and respond to market trends
- catastrophic events, including, but not limited to, as a result of climate change, epidemics, pandemics (such as the coronavirus COVID-19), tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, war or other military action, terrorism or other acts of violence, and damage incidental to such events
- ability to protect the Aflac brand and the Company's reputation
- ability to effectively manage key executive succession
- changes in accounting standards
- level and outcome of litigation
- allegations or determinations of worker misclassification in the United States