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UK’s £22bn Pension Protection Fund tenders for ESG data and research

Candidate must be able to cover all public equity and fixed income benchmarks

The Pension Protection Fund (PPF), the UK’s £22.6bn (€32bn) pensions lifeboat scheme, is seeking a provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) research and data.
The fund, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, has issued a tender saying: “The board is seeking to procure the services of an environmental, social and governance (ESG) data and research provider for the Fund’s assets.”

The candidate must be global in reach, i.e. cover all public equity and fixed income benchmarks (sovereign, corporate, and emerging market debt), it adds. The two-year contract will be worth up to £500,000.

Candidates will also be invited to show their capabilities in providing ESG data and research in private equity and private credit markets: “The ability to provide services in this space will be viewed favourably.”

The PPF adds that the board aims to “widen the scope” of its responsible investment policies over time to include further ESG factors.

The tender continues: “You are invited to propose ways in which the Board, its fund managers and other agents can be informed in a timely, cost effective manner inrelation to the companies and countries within its portfolio.”

As this is a new requirement for the PPF there is no incumbent supplier.

The PPF has a commitment to responsible investment across its portfolio, believing its RI strategy helps it to “manage the environmental, social and governance risk” and open “opportunities to pursue sustainable investment performance”.

It comes as it develops a strategic plan, announced in March this year, to bring more of its investment functions in-house.

A signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment since 2007, it has a core belief that the management of ESG risks – and the exploitation of ESG opportunities – can add value to its portfolio.

In 2012 it began following model contract terms set out by the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) in including RI clauses in investment management agreements. It is one of numerous UK institutions which are supporting the new ESG reporting document released in January.

In 2012 the body named Hermes Equity Ownership Services (EOS) as its new voting and engagement advisor.