Hermes’ Melvin and EIRIS’ Webster elected to PRI Advisory Council

Leading industry figures named to non-asset owner roles

Colin Melvin and Peter Webster, chief executives of Hermes Equity Ownership Services and ESG research firm EIRIS respectively, have been elected to the two non-asset owner positions on the 16-member Advisory Council of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
The Council’s role is to guide the overall long-term strategic direction of the PRI and oversee the work of the Board of PRI Association, the UK-registered organisation that oversees the PRI Secretariat.
Melvin and Webster replace Ann Byrne, CEO at the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors, and Melissa Brown, the former Executive Director of the Association of Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia (ASrIA) who’s now with Hong Kong’s Doabridge Capital.

The pair were up against other responsible investment figures in the election. They included: Rina Gee Kupferschmid-Rojas, CEO of ESG Analytics, the private markets data firm; Ian Quigley, Senior Consultant at Qube Consulting; Shun Tanahashi, President & CEO of Ark Alternative Advisors, the Tokyo-based private equity house; and Mark Makepeace, CEO at index firm FTSE.Niels Erik Petersen, Chief Investment Officer at Danish pension fund Unipension, was re-elected to European asset owner slot he has held since in 2011.

Hermes EOS is the engagement provider that’s ultimately owned by the BT Pension Scheme while EIRIS is the UK-based group that provides environmental, social and governance information.

The PRI said that more than 40% of asset owners and nearly 30% of investment managers and professional service partners voted. The election process was administered by an independent external provider, with every signatory eligible to vote for representatives in their category.
The Council comprises nine elected asset owner signatory representatives, four elected non-asset owner signatory representatives (fund managers and service providers), two permanent UN representatives and a chair.
The PRI recently published a new discussion paper exploring the relationship between ESG factors, sovereign credit risks and investment performance. It aims to prompt institutional investors to take a more holistic view of credit risks in their sovereign bond portfolios by considering ESG factors in their investment processes. Link