European institutional investor group sets up climate change company structure

Company builds on existing €7.5trn investor forum

A group of major European institutional investors have set up a new UK-registered company called Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change Ltd., building on the existing 75-member investor forum of the same name.
The company’s backers include pension funds APG and PGGM, the Dutch Pension giants, the BT Pension Scheme (BTPS), the Merseyside Pension Fund, The Cooperative Asset Management, London Pension Funds Authority (LPFA), F&C Asset Management and BNP Paribas Investment Partners.
Its directors include some of the most well known names in the field of responsible investment.
They include Vicky Bakhshi (F&C), Marcel Jeucken (PGGM), Eric Borremans (BNP Paribas), Donald MacDonald (BTPS trustee and IIGCC Chairman), Owen Thorne (Merseyside), Mike Taylor (LPFA), Helene Winch (BTPS) and Niall O’Shea (Cooperative AM).

“The objects of the company are to promote the protection and conservation of the environment as the foundation for sustainable development,” the firm’s founding documents state.
The articles of association add that the board must comprise three asset owner and three asset manager representatives.IIGCC Ltd. seeks to develop and provide a collaborative investor platform on climate change and provide European investors with a voice on climate change. Among its aims is to provide guidance to let investors “integrate these issues into asset manager selection, investment analysis and shareholder ownership activities”.
The IIGCC forum’s members include some of the largest pension funds and asset managers in Europe, representing around €7.5trn in assets.

In an interview with Responsible Investor last month, IIGCC Chair MacDonald – the former chairman of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment – spoke about the challenges ahead for institutional environmental investing.
MacDonald explained that the setting up of a limited company structure clarifies a previous operations arrangement whereby the IIGCC had worked within the structure of London-based, The Climate Group, which provides support for the IIGCC and Stephanie Pfeiffer, IIGCC Executive Director.

The United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (UN PRI) set up a similar company structure, called PRI Association, in March 2010.