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Public market investments

Find out more about our public market investments

What are public market investments?

These are investments into securities that are traded publicly on exchanges or other recognised marketplaces. The types of investments this includes are fixed income investments and equities.

Fixed income investments

Fixed income investments are often loans to companies (known as credit or corporate bonds), or governments (known as government bonds or gilts in the UK). They allow companies and governments to borrow money for a return in the form of interest on their loan.

For the latest value of our fixed income investments, visit our Report and Accounts.


Equity investments involve buying shares of a company. In public markets these companies are listed on the stock market. Over time, equities are expected to offer higher returns than bonds, but at a slightly higher level of risk.

With new members joining the Retirement Income Builder – the defined benefit part of USS – all the time, we’ll be paying pensions long into the future. That’s why growth assets like equities are important.

Our public equity investments include shares in companies all over world. This ranges from emerging markets such as Brazil and South Africa, to developed markets such as the UK and the US.

We'll vote at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of many of the companies that we own shares in. Having the right to vote on decisions made at a company is one of the most effective tools we have for holding them to account and driving improvements. See more on how we vote.

In 2023 almost 31% of our entire portfolio was invested in listed equities.

Search our public equity holdings list

Search our top 100 equities list