For the first time the UK's National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has issued a document offering advice on socially responsible investment (SRI).
The publication - ‘Engaging for success - Engagement guidance on socially responsible investment for investors and companies’ - is the first of its kind for the association and was produced in conjunction with the Institute of Business Ethics.
According to NAPF director John Rogers the document aims to show how the pension funds can set up an engagement process through their managers and how the management companies themselves should engage” SRI issues.
Rogers, who headed the initiative, said: “In the UK there have always been niche ethical funds available for pension funds but they’ve primarily been taken up in the private sector. The Government's disclosure regulations [Pensions Act, 2000] have made a difference. All occupational pension fund with trustees have changed their principles.”
“The first thing the trustees have done is pass the baby onto the investment manager and that is where I think help is needed,” he added.
Rogers added that the most active SRI pension funds are local authorities. Although he does not anticipate a swathe of SRI mandates, more funds may employ one investment manager to coordinated the SRI effort in existing portfolios.
*In September the NAPF is expected to issue a series of publications regarding SRI on a sectorial basis.
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