ATP must be an organisation that Danes trust. When it comes to taxes, then among other things this means that we have a responsibility to ensure that the companies we invest in are paying the correct amount of taxes.
This is an important social agenda. This is why our tax policy also played a key role when the three Danish pension funds, ATP, PFA and PKA, joined together with the Australian Macquarie to purchase TDC.
With its tax policy, ATP has raised the bar in the pension sector for responsible tax payments. It is particularly positive that ATP is actively against aggressive tax planning that goes against the spirit of the law and expects the same from its asset managers.
In order to ensure that Macquarie pays its taxes in Denmark, the TDC investment has been fenced in so that Macquarie cannot pull out profits from the country before the taxes are settled with the Danish tax authorities. In effect, Macquarie needs to go through two approval processes first - one from the Danish Tax Agency and one from the Danish pension funds. This means that ATP can be part of preventing any potential aggressive tax planning from occurring.
A united front is focusing on taxes
We are stronger when we stand together as one. It was made clear in the TDC investment, which we made together with the other pension funds, that we were going to make common demands on our Australian co-investor.
That is also the aim of the common tax codex that ATP, Industriens Pension, PFA and PensionDanmark have taken the initiative to use to put additional pressure on external investment fund asset managers. The partnership is a natural progression of the work with ATP’s tax policy.
“We can go some of the way with our own tax policy, but when several large actors impose the same requirements for responsible tax behaviour, this strengthens our negotiating positions and thus makes it more likely that we will get our requirements accepted,” says Bo Foged, CEO of ATP.
The tax codex is an important steppingstone towards an actual industry standard where external investment fund managers have no doubt as to what they can expect from a partnership with a responsible investor.