Denmark’s ATP “gratified” asset firms Goldman Sachs AM and PIMCO signed UN PRI

Fund giant says it engaged with managers to “induce” them to sign up

ATP, the Danish labour market pension fund with DKK775bn (€104bn) in assets under management, says it’s “gratified” that asset management giants Goldman Sachs Asset Management and PIMCO have signed up to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment after dialogue on the issue.

“In 2010, ATP engaged in dialogue with a number of asset managers to induce them to endorse the PRI,” the fund said.

“ATP is gratified to note that in 2011 two of ATP’s business partners, PIMCO and Goldman Sachs Asset Management (two of the world’s major asset managers), decided to join the initiative.”
GSAM, the fund management division of banking giant Goldman Sachs with $714.6bn (€543.6bn) in assets under management, announced a major commitment to responsible investment late last year. PIMCO, the fixed income specialist with more than $1.3trn in AUM, signed up to the PRI earlier in the year.

ATP also revealed in its latest, 37-page, responsibility report that it has developed a new process for addressing environmental, social and governance (ESG) in its corporate bond investments.

It uses an adapted version of its engagement model, consisting of two phases: screening and fact-finding.Targeted dialogue, where the fund seeks to change company behaviour, is not an option with corporate bonds. The report also highlights how ATP incorporates ESG issues into its infrastructure investments, with a case study of an investment that its Horizon Road joint venture made last year in Australian toll-road operator ConnectEast. A due diligence study looked at employment terms, accident statistics, energy consumption, water disposal, pollution noise and other factors.

The report also details ATP’s dialogue with pharmaceutical company Lundbeck over criticism the company faced when it was revealed its epilepsy drug was being used as a sedative in US executions.

ATP added it is working to achieve greater transparency on PRI signatories’ reporting on the PRI’s relevant technical committee – so that more stakeholders can get insight into the “individual performance of the signatory investors in responsible investment”.

The process has revealed “wide-ranging attitudes” to how future PRI reporting should be re-designed, ATP states.

ATP signed up to the UN PRI in 2006 and was the first Danish investor to endorse the principles. Last year it took over the chair of Dansif, the Danish Social Investment Forum.