PRI sign-ups buck financial crisis – Bloomberg joins and launches ESG data on screens

UN investor initiative continues to broaden across asset classes.

The $19 trillion United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment has signed up 55 new institutional members since the end of August, including a number of financial markets heavy-hitters such as Bloomberg, the information provider and APG Asset Management, which runs the money for the giant €180bn Dutch ABP civil servants pension fund. The rapidly growing number of signatories suggests that appetite for responsible investment has not been hit by the financial crisis and is increasingly becoming a mainstream financial consideration. Significantly, the new signatories include two global investment consultants: Hewitt’s Global Investment Consulting Practice and Russell Investments, which has a sizeable institutional advisory arm. And in a sign that the PRI is increasing its reach across asset classes, signatories also include AlpInvest Partners, the private equity joint venture of ABP and PGGM, and LaSalle Investment Management, one of the world’s biggest realestate managers. Asset owner sign-ups include CDC Group, the $4bn UK-government owned private equity fund-of-funds that invests in emerging markets, and the UK’s Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.
The signing up of Bloomberg to the PRI during September is significant. Just after joining PRI, it launched a dedicated environmental, social and governance (ESG) service on its Bloomberg Professional trading screens.
The group said it had sourced ESG data on 3000+ companies in 45 countries. The coverage comprises 20 key performance indicators (KPIs) combining ESG factors with financial fundamentals data, which Bloomberg said were derived with assistance from an advisory panel of academic consultants, asset and portfolio managers, as well as SRI analysts.