Principal Global Investors, the Des Moines, Iowa-based asset manager with $227.4bn (€170bn) in mostly pension fund assets under management, has become the latest “mainstream” firm to sign up to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.
The firm – which runs assets for 10 of the 25 largest pension funds in the world – says the appropriate consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues is part of delivering superior risk adjusted returns.
Other recent “mainstream” asset manager signatories include firms like Capital International, Legal & General Investment Management and T. Rowe Price. Principal specialises in fixed income, equities and real estate, and is a member of the Principal Financial Group.
“As a continuation of our organization’s long-standing commitment to corporate stewardship, we are pleased to sign on to the UN investment initiative,” said Principal’s chief operations officerBarb McKenzie in a statement. “It is intrinsic to who we are as an asset manager and aligns with our investment strategy and culture.”
“As a leader in the global asset management industry, we believe appropriate consideration of these issues is part of delivering superior risk adjusted returns,” McKenzie added. The firm will apply the Principles where “consistent” with its fiduciary responsibilities and in alignment with its investors’ expectations.
Other new signatories to the PRI include Brazilian social and economic consultancy Finanças Sustentáveis Consultoria, Italy’s Private Equity Partners, listed Australian real estate firm Mirvac Group, Stichting Pensioenfonds UWV, the €3.8bn pension fund of the Dutch employment and benefits agency, Gestion Férique, the Canadian engineering investment fund group, Kleinwort Benson Investors (formerly KBC Asset Management) and Australia’s Alphinity Investment Management.