AUSTRALIA- Australian superannuation fund UniSuper has joined ESG Research Australia (ESG RA), an initiative that encourages Australian pensions and fund managers to incorporate environmental, social and governance factors into portfolio construction.
ESG and related socially responsible investment (SRI) practices have fallen down the list of priorities by some money managers and pension funds as they focus on other investment issues related to the market downturn.
Some money managers have cut or reduced their SRI teams. JPMorgan closed its specific ESG service while Citigroup has made cuts to its team. (Global Pensions, 15 December 2008).
St. John said: "In this current volatile investment environment, some funds might be tempted to scale back their ESG activities. However, we remain committed to acknowledging and supporting the important role of ESG research."
The ESG RA was launched in February of this year by HESTA Super Fund and VicSuper, two other Australian schemes.
Mark Evans has been appointed as a director at Independent Trustee Services (ITS) to lead trustee appointments in London.
The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is consulting on changes to the actuarial assumptions it uses in valuations in a bid to better reflect the bulk annuity market, with schemes set to move into surplus on aggregate.
Private sector defined benefit (DB) schemes were 96.3% funded on a Pension Protection Fund (PPF) compensation basis at the end of July, according to the lifeboat fund's monthly index.
Conduent has completed the sale of its actuarial and human resource consulting business to private equity investor, H.I.G. Capital.