Four leading Danish pension funds, ATP, PFA, PKA and Sampension, are to rejoin the PRI (Principles for Responsible Investing), a collaborative investment industry organisation supported by the United Nations (UN).
The funds had left PRI in 2013, after they became concerned from 2011 onwards that the PRI did not meet the basic requirements for management structures required by investors. After attempting to improve PRI management from within, in order to address their concerns, the funds decided to leave, but maintained a constructive dialogue with the PRI chair, Martin Skancke.
In a statement on their return to the PRI, the funds stated: “Firstly, the PRI has made changes to policies and management structure. Secondly, the PRI has increased visibility regarding the organisation’s plans and decisions. Thirdly, the board has been receptive of arguments in the ongoing dialogue with the Danish pension companies.” They added: “Not all managerial concerns have been dealt with, but the four companies jointly believe that they will be able to improve management in the PRI more by re-entering the organisation than having no part in it.”
The four pension funds said that during the period when they were not PRI members, they continued to comply with UN-supported principles for responsible investment.
The PRI has been criticised in the past for accrediting asset managers, who seek PRI membership in order to win mandates from institutional investors, when the same managers may be investing in companies or sectors that score negatively on ESG criteria.