Four Danish pension funds confirm they plan to rejoin PRI

Investors say the initiative has listened to criticism

Four Danish pension funds have confirmed that they will rejoin the Principles for Responsible Investment, saying the body has “listened to the criticism that lead to the pension companies’ exit”.

ATP, PFA, PKA and Sampension are four of 11 Danish pension funds that pulled out of the initiative in 2013, citing concerns over the way it was governed.

Late last month Responsible Investor reported that some of the funds that exited the PRI were discussing rejoining, with PRI Managing Director Fiona Reynolds saying at the time that they would be welcomed back.

The funds’ departure was arguably the worst episode in the PRI’s 10-year history and their partial return represents a boost for the organization, which has now grown to more than 1,600 signatories.

Today the four funds who have rejoined said: “The companies from 2011 onwards became increasingly worried that the PRI did not meet the basic requirements for management structures required”.“Despite multiple attempts to improve the PRI’s management from within, the group of Danish pension companies unfortunately had to recognize that the efforts were unsuccessful.”

However, they have now said that – after continued “constructive dialogue” with Chairman Martin Skancke – the PRI’s board has engaged with the criticism, resulting in changes to its policies and management structure and increased visibility around its plans and decisions.

“The four companies are satisfied that the PRI has listened to the criticism and made important corrective arrangements in order to improve its own management,” the group said, but warned that “not all managerial concerns have been dealt with”. Further improvement would be easier to achieve as signatories, they added.

The remaining seven Danish pension funds to have left the PRI in 2013 and not rejoined are Industriens Pension, PensionDanmark, LD Pension, Tryg Pension, Laegernes Pensionskasse, DIP JØP and PenSam Liv.