PRI hits $30 trillion assets mark despite fees and market turmoil

Initiative loses only 10% of members to mandatory fees.

The United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has hit the $30 trillion mark in assets managed by 900 signatories from 48 countries, in a sign of its growing market influence, according to its annual report for 2011. The report said the PRI had received 209 new signatories since August 2010, despite the introduction of mandatory fees this year and the continued market crisis. PRI signatories began to pay annual, sliding-scale subscriptions in April this year. Fees for some investors are set according to assets under management while other signatories pay according to staff numbers.

The minimum fee is £330 and the maximum £6,600. There had been some concern that PRI numbers might drop off as a result of the fee structure. However, the PRI said that just over 10% of members (119 signatories) had left the initiative as a result. As a result of the fee structure, which gave the initiative income of £1.6m in 2010/11, with predicted income for 2011/12 of £2.6m, the PRI said it would be able to significantly scale up its work with signatories.The PRI report said that 545 investors had completed its 2011 annual assessment survey asking signatories how they are putting the six Principles for Responsible Investment into practice. The survey is a mandatory requirement for asset owners and investment managers after two years as a signatory. Of these, 94% of asset owners and 93% of investment managers now have a formal RI policy. The report revealed that over half of asset owner respondents’ externally managed funds are now subject to ESG integration, while 40% of the assets are managed by fund managers that have also signed the PRI.
In terms of their relationships with investee companies, 71% of PRI signatories now ask companies to integrate ESG information into their financial reporting, while 61% of asset manager signatories now publicly disclose their voting policies, up from 55% in 2010.
Link to PRI