Terry Smith slams Unilever over company's ESG focus

Smith's fund underperformed MSCI

Elliot Gulliver-Needham
clock • 1 min read
Fundsmith Equity fund manager Terry Smith
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Fundsmith Equity fund manager Terry Smith

Fund manager Terry Smith has attacked Unilever for being “obsessed” with sustainability, after it was one of the worst performing firms in his portfolio.

Smith's £29bn Fundsmith Equity fund, the UK's largest retail vehicle, underperformed in 2021, which he defended in his annual letter to investors. Smith attacked Unilever and PayPal in the letter, writing that "Unilever seems to be labouring under the weight of a management which is obsessed with publicly displaying sustainability credentials at the expense of focusing on the fundamentals of the business". "A company which feels it has to define the purpose of Hellmann's mayonnaise has in our view clearly lost the plot. The Hellmann's brand has existed since 1913 so we would guess tha...

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