$650bn US asset management giant signs up to UN Principles for Responsible Investment

Venerable fund firm backs UN PRI

Wellington Management Co., the Boston-based asset management giant with around $651bn (€492bn) in client assets under management, has become a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI).

Wellington becomes the latest so-called “mainstream” asset management firm, alongside the likes of fixed income giant PIMCO, Capital Group, Goldman Sachs Asset Management and T. Rowe Price, that have signed up to the PRI.

The are now 1,043 signatories in total, including 249 asset owners, 619 asset managers and 175 service partners. The PRI recently launched its new reporting and assessment framework on a pilot basis – which will mean mandatory reporting for all asset owner and investment manager signatories after a one-year grace period.

Wellington, founded in 1933, includes pension funds, endowments, insurance companies and sovereign funds amongst its clients. It is structured as a private limited liability partnership and has around 2,000 clients in 50 countries around the world.Wellington maintains a corporate governance policy that seeks to support decisions that will maximize the long-term value of its holdings.

It has five ways to achieve this, it says. They are: maintain ongoing dialogue with company management; integrate corporate governance analysis into the investment process; voting; work with other market participants; and sell “if governance concerns persist”.

“We believe that engagement with company managements can be an integral element of the investment process,” it says on its web site. “Dialogue can range from an agenda item on a regular investor call to a focused communication on a particular issue.” The firm is already a signatory to the UK’s Stewardship Code.

Last year the firm’s London affiliate, Wellington Management International, opened an office in Frankfurt.
Another notable new signatory to the PRI is media group McGraw-Hill, the owner of ratings agency Standard & Poor’s. UN PRI home page