#knowthePRIscore: Asset managers with $10 trillion respond

Furthering the debate about fund managers’ transparency on ESG


The downloadable PDF report was updated on the Friday, October 12.

We sought asset managers’ PRI scores and firms with $10 trillion worth of assets responded.

As signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment gather for the annual PRI in Person event in San Francisco this week, we are delighted to present the findings of our #knowthePRIscore project.

Back in August, RI invited asset management firms to submit their Strategy and Governance scores awarded under the PRI’s assessment process. This exercise had responses from 68 firms: we thank you!

Combined with additional research, we now have data on more than 200 leading firms.

“Our PRI grades are a core KPI” — CCLA

We can reveal that respondents include firms of the stature of Fidelity, Legal & General Investment Management, Mirova, Aegon, Amundi, DWS, Invesco, BNP Paribas, Schroders, Morgan Stanley, Vontobel, Credit Suisse and Allianz Global Investors to name just a few. All told, the respondents to our campaign have c.$10trn in combined assets under management.

Our collation of the scores is available in this this downloadable PDF (password: priscore2018), which details our methodology as well. [It’s also available via a download at the side of this article.] But here’s the break-down of the scores: A+ 87%; A 12%; B 1%.

For some firms this has been a sensitive issue and we respect that. But, as UK charity investment firm CCLA says: “Our PRI grades are a core KPI.”

As such, this key performance indicator information surely belongs in the public domain. This initial sample helps that process.

There has been some feedback about our focus on the S&G scores. But we are only taking the lead from the market’s use of it as an “unofficial” overall score. Plus, they seem the most comparable.Verification
The scores are based on unverified information and PRI Chief Executive Fiona Reynolds told RI that the introduction of third-party verification is something that the initiative might look at in the future. The PRI has already done a study on signatory assurance practices and an exercise on incorporating assurance in the future.

Top line findings

It is perhaps natural that firms might be reluctant to disclose lower scores and we can reveal that among the 200+ asset managers surveyed only one has disclosed a B score, and that was back in 2016.

Among the global top 100 asset managers by size, 24 publicly disclosed their scores, 11 disclosed upon request, six refused.

Data portal
There’s not widespread awareness outside the PRI universe of the PRI’s Data Portal, and the fact that it enables asset owners to request to see private transparency reports. So far, more than 800 requests have been sent over the system, the PRI says.

“As an asset owner, you can go on and request reports, and it’s pretty difficult for someone to say no to an asset owner,” says Reynolds, adding that some are using the data to review existing managers and some as part of new manager selection. She says: “What’s the point of having all of this data if it’s too difficult for anyone to use?”

She also said that from 2019/20, the PRI would be putting together leadership groups, focusing in the first year on highlighting which asset owners are good at manager selection.

The PRI says that during PRI in Person there will be demos of the portal for asset owners, and the initiative is planning to release a recording of a webinar with case studies about how asset owners have used the portal.

The PRI says asset owners use the scores to identify gaps and areas for engagement with managers and then to see if managers’ scores have improved.

NOTE: To submit your scores, please email Khalid Azizuddin.