Principles for Responsible Investment’s income surges to £13m as 500 new signatories sign up

Income expected to grow to £16m next year while cash in hand stands at £6m

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has seen its total income rise by 27% to £13.2m (€14.2m) to the end of March 2019, up from the prior year figure of £10.4m — on the back of a growth in its signatory base which has seen more than 500 market players sign up to its six principles.

The figures come in the PRI’s new financial report. Income is budgeted to grow to almost £16m for the 2019/20 period while cash reserves have risen to £6.1m, from £4.6m.

Income from new and existing signatories rose to £11.4m – up from £9.1m. All signatories pay annual fees, based on their total assets under management or, for service providers, number of employees.

The PRI said it was “another year of healthy growth for the signatory base”, with more than 500 new signatories – of which 69 were new asset owner signatories.

“We were delighted to welcome more than 500 new signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment in 2018/19,” the PRI said. “Proportional growth was particularly strong in China (64%), Latin America (excl. Brazil) (45%) and Southern Europe (27%). Mature markets such as the US and the UK continued to see significant numbers of new joiners.” Total signatories at the time of writing stands at 2,544.Recent sign-ups include the likes of the London School of Economics and the Dutch central bank. And the PRI was boosted by the re-joining of a number of Danish pension funds who had left six years ago in a dispute over PRI governance.

But the PRI acknowledges that this growth “must be met with increasing focus on what it means to be a signatory”.

It says that in the first year since introducing minimum requirements for its investor signatories, 69% of those that the PRI engaged with for not meeting the new standards “have met the minimum requirements this year”. There is no mention of which signatories are to be delisted, if any.

Staffing numbers at the London-based body have risen 23% to 138 (from 112 before). As recently as 2015, signatory income stood at just £4.56m and staffing was at 64.

Consolidated financial statements for the PRI Association, the company which runs the PRI and its subsidiaries, will be available in late August.

Next up for the organisation is the annual PRI in Person event in Paris next month. Also on the horizon is the 2019 board elections, where there are two asset owner positions and one service provider position up for election, with voting taking place in October and November.