Italy’s largest pension fund signs up to UN PRI as membership surges

€5.7bn Fondo Cometa backs PRI

Italy’s largest pension fund, the €5.7bn Fondo Cometa, has become the first major Italian asset owner to sign up to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.

Milan-based Cometa is the fund for workers in the metals industry and has some 470,000 members. Cometa President Fabio Ortolani said in a statement: “We are proud to be the first Italian pension fund to become part of this global network. It was not difficult for us to decide to support and promote the values of the PRI; the principles fully reflect our idea of investment, which is to be responsible and sustainable.” The only other Italian asset owner signatory is the $150m Global Crop Diversity Trust.

Other large funds that have recently put their weight behind the PRI are the KRW10trn (€6.6bn) Korea Teachers Pension and Finland’s €5.3bn Etera Mutual Pension Insurance Co. The latest additions take the signatory list to 851 – of which 215 are asset owners.
Seoul-based Korea Teachers Pension, which was set up in 1974, has had an ethical policy since 2004and joined the UN Global Compact in 2009.

Helsinki-based pension insurer Etera recently dropped basing its equity investments on benchmark indices; it also recently set up a direct European portfolio.

Other new signatories include Hermes GPE, the new private equity venture between Gartmore Investment Management Limited and Hermes Fund Managers which has £4.2bn (€4.9bn) under management, and France’s ODDO Asset Management. The ODDO group, which last week acquired the French private banking operations of Robeco, has a total of around €21bn under management.
Other companies which have recently signed up to the PRI include UK public private partnership infrastructure firm Equitix, Hong Kong’s Orchid Asia Group Management Ltd., Cayman Islands-based Portland Private Equity, Niton Capital Partners of Switzerland and the UK’s Culross Global Management.
Also new to the PRI are Finnish private bank Taaleritehdas, Spanish asset manager BanSabadell Inversión Management and France’s Aprionis.