France’s ERAFP strengthens minimum requirement for female board members

French SRI asset owner releases 2016 voting policy and engagement strategy

French civil service pension fund, ERAFP, the 100% socially responsible investor with more than €23bn in assets, has announced that it has strengthened its minimum requirement for women board members from 30% to 35%, as it releases its voting policy and shareholder engagement strategy for 2016.

Like in 2015, ERAFP’s shareholder engagement strategy this year will focus on combating climate change, fighting against aggressive tax optimization practices, ensuring consistency between companies’ sustainable development commitments and their lobbying practices, and preventing employment-related risks within the supply chain.

It will also promote fair and moderate executive pay, responsible dividend policies and transparency around the business activities and financial situation of companies, particularly those in the extractive and forestry sectors, through its voting.To facilitate discussion, ERAFP says it will communicate its guidelines to the companies in which it invests through its delegated fund managers.
Last month, ERAFP joined the French SIF. Philippe Desfossés, director of ERAFP, said it was part of a strategy to develop and contribute to a sustainable economic transition.
Also last month, ERAFP, launched two long-term, SRI-focused tenders collectively worth €350m for private equity and infrastructure, with the mandates potentially stretching out to 14 years.

ERAFP is one of the world’s largest public pension funds in terms of member numbers, with over 4.5m beneficiaries, 45,000 employers and nearly €1.8bn in annual contributions, making it one of the fastest growing institutional asset pots in the world, all of which is outsourced to third party managers.

With reporting by Margaux Gatty.