Edinburgh university defends investing millions in company that donates to anti-LGBTQ+ Republicans

The University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh has invested £2 million in a company that supports anti-LGBTQ+ Republicans in the US, according to the Edinburgh Tab.

According to its most recent list of investments, published in January 2022, the University of Edinburgh has invested £1,979,844 in The Charlies Schwab Corporation. 

The Charlies Schwab Corporation is a bank, stockbroker and multinational financial services company which has invested millions into Republican causes and efforts to have anti-LGBTQ+ Republicans elected. 

According to Open Secrets, during the 2022 election The Charlies Schwab Corporation has donated to QAnon conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene, anti-LGBTQ+ congressman Madison Cawthorn, Trump-loving Texas senator Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump’s Save America Leadership PAC, among many others. 

Although the company does donate some money to Democrats, these donations make up a fraction of the total money given.

Edinburgh’s student union LGBTQ+ representatives slammed the university for the investment, with Edinburgh SU liberation officer Jaime Prada telling The Tab: “Our university puts money where its priorities lie. The university must ensure that the companies they invest in represent the values of the institution.”

They added that investments like this only happen because “people at decision-level positions are not informed about the many challenges we face as queer people”, and said: “Standing up for our rights also requires a minimum level of education regarding LGBTQIA+ liberation.

“Our university must know what companies support us, which discriminate against us, and which profit from our struggle. Then, they should make a conscious decision about where to invest their money. Actions speak louder than words.”

Despite the criticism, the university defended the investment, insisting that it “remains steadfast in its commitment to LGBT+ equality and inclusion, fostering a welcoming, inclusive and supportive environment for our whole community”.

The University of Edinburgh added: “The university’s approach to responsible investment has a firm focus on openness, social and civic responsibility, and a determination to make the world a better place.

“Edinburgh was the first university in Europe to sign the UN Principles of Responsible Investment, and we have committed to avoid investments in fossil fuels and tobacco, for example.

“The University’s Endowment Fund is managed via an externally managed investment portfolio. This contains several dozen stocks, of which The Charles Schwab Corporation represents a small amount.

“All of our investments are reviewed regularly and amended, if necessary, to ensure that the university’s values are represented in the companies in which we invest.”