Pictured: Fiona Reynolds
Six large European pension funds, led by Denmark’s national fund, ATP, have criticized the governance of United Nations’ PRI organization, and have said they will “remain outside the organization until it again lives up to basic requirements for good corporate governance”.
Fiona Reynolds, the former chief executive of AIST, who moved to London this year to run the UNPRI, was quoted last week as saying the group was “deeply disappointed” this had occurred.
According to US-based ‘aiCIO’ newsletter, Reynolds said: “At our annual Signatory General Meeting in Cape Town in September, the PRI committed to undertake a review of its governance. The Council’s Governance committee has already begun to define the scope of this review, which will be led by a new Council Chair expected to be appointed in early 2014…
“We had previously arranged to meet with our Danish signatories in Copenhagen on January 13 and we plan to continue with this meeting and hope all of the funds concerned attend,” she added. “Given the important work of the Danish pension funds in responsible investment, we hope that the funds concerned will reconsider their decision at some point in the near future.”
The six funds want UNPRI to “restore membership democracy” to the organization. They said in a joint statement last Friday: “The UN-backed PRI have an important role to play in promoting responsible investment—including emphasizing the importance of good governance in companies around the world. We have, nonetheless, over a sustained period of time observed with concern that the governance of the PRI organization does not live up to the basic standards we as investors would expect of the companies in which we invest. Despite numerous attempts to improve the conditions within PRI, we must, unfortunately, acknowledge that these attempts have not been successful.”