Some of the world’s largest asset owners representing total assets of more than $300bn will address this year’s RI’s ESG in the Manager Selection Process conferences running in London and New York on October 11 and October 18 consecutively. The day-long, business-focused symposiums feature pension funds talking about how they include environmental, social and corporate governance criteria (ESG) in manager hires in equities, fixed income, property, multi-manager, private equity, infrastructure and real assets. The London event on October 11 will hear from schemes around Europe running approximately $200bn in assets. It includes a special panel with two of France’s biggest public retirement schemes, which have tendered some of the biggest mandate searches in the market in recent years: ERAFP, the €15bn 100% SRI pension fund for French civil servants, local authorities and the public hospitals sector and one of the fastest growing public pension schemes in the world, and the French sovereign wealth fund, La Caisse des Dépôts, which is reponsible for Ircantec, the €6bn supplementary pension institution of non-permanent staff of the French state and public authorities. Other schemes speaking in London include The Pensions Trust, the £5bn fund for over 2,400 charitable, social, educational, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations trust us to look after their employees’ pensions, and the UK Pension Protection Fund, the UK’s £12bn (€14.8bn) pensions lifeboat scheme, which hired seven new farmland and timber managers at the end of 2012. The £2.1bn (€2.5bn) Environment Agency Pension Fund will discuss recently tendered mandates for real assets including real estate, infrastructure, forestry and agricultural land, as well as credit. Speakers from multi-manager programmes at Aviva Investors, Altis Investment Management and Cedrus Asset Management, will take about their internal sustainability hiring criteria for third-party managers.Leading UK consultants will also talk about how they work with fund managers and asset owners on sustainability assessments in their investment contracts. In a special international presentation straddling the London and New York events, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, the NZ$23bn (£12bn) national retirement fund, will talk about how it works with its fund managers on corporate governance and responsible investment. Also speaking at both events, the United Nations-supported PRI will explain its recently re-vamped Reporting and Assessment Framework where signatories report annually on their responsible investment implementation; a likely future benchmark by which investors will be measured on RI. James Gifford, Executive Director of the PRI will speak at the New York event, which will also hear presentations from asset owners representing $100bn in assets, including the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, The Illinois State Board of Investment, and OPSEU Pension Trust (OPTrust), one of Canada’s largest pension plans. Bill Atwood, Executive Director at Illinois will talk about how the fund restructured its investment portfolio and manager selection criteria as well as looking at its emerging manager program, role as a signatory to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment and increased shareholder activism. Another panel will look at how CalPERS, the Californian pension giant, is expanding its use of ESG-focused investing. Significantly, some of the US’ most influential investment consultants will also speak at the New York event. Rich Nuzum, North American Head of Investments at Mercer will make a dedicated presentation on ‘ESG considerations by mainstream asset owners’, while Andy Iseri, Vice President, Global Manager Research, at Callan Associates Inc, and Tim Barron, Chief Investment Officer at Segal Rogerscasey, will discuss how their institutional investor clients are using ESG to score and monitor asset managers.
For more information, link to both events: