PRI opens board elections as it begins placing signatories on ‘watch list’

Body seeks three investors for board and will tackle members weakest on ESG

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has opened the call for applications to its Board of Directors, as it confirmed that it will place 185 of its signatories on a ‘watch list’ in coming weeks for not displaying enough conviction on ESG.
The PRI says CEO Fiona Reynolds had predicted earlier this year that around 10% of the UN-backed body’s 1,967 members were at risk of being kicked out, as part of a drive to strengthen the integrity of the PRI amid growing criticism from some quarters that it has become a ‘paper tiger’. Reynolds confirmed this week that 185 signatories will be placed on the watchlist. The PRI has declined to name the signatories under review, but it is expected that most will be asset managers with around 20% being asset owners. They will be contacted in the coming weeks and given two years to improve or be booted out of the PRI and publicly identified.
Separately, the PRI will appoint two asset owners and one investment manager to replace its Board Members whose three-year term is due to end. They are: Angela Emslie, Independent Chair of HESTA Super; Xander den Uyl, Trustee at ABP pension fund; and Sandra Carlisle, Head of Responsible Investment at HSBC Asset Management.
Because two of those leaving are women, the PRI said it was particularly interested in hearing from female candidates. It is also keen to find candidates with strong governance experience, it added.
Candidates must work for a company that is signed up to the PRI, and must be among “the most senior investment professional of that signatory”. Current directors are all CEOs, CIOs, board members or “relevant officers”, and have been elected by either asset owner signatories, investment manager signatories or service provider signatories. See right for details.
The Board’s Chair is currently Martin Skancke, former Director General and Head of the Norwegian Ministry of Finance Asset Management Department, which oversees the country’s giant sovereign wealth fund. The PRI Board also has two permanent UN Advisors from the UN Global Compact and UNEP Finance Initiative.
Deadlines for nominations and applications is July 27. On September 12, the PRI will announce the election candidates at its annual conference in San Francisco. Voting will commence in October and last until November 19. The following week, the results will be announced. The new recruits will start their tenure next January for three years.
To apply, click hereThe PRI’s Current Board

Elected by asset owners

  • AP2’s CEO Eva Halvarsson
  • Priya Mathur, President of CalPERS Board of Administration
  • Hiro Mizuno, CIO of Japan’s GPIF
  • Angela Emslie, HESTA
  • Marcus Madureira, Planning Director at Brazil’s Previ
  • Renosi Mokate, Chair of South Africa’s Gvoernment Employees Pension Fund
  • Xander den Uyl, ABP

In this election, asset owner signatories get two votes, and the two candidates to receive the highest number of votes this year will be elected.
Elected by asset managers

  • Sandra Carlisle, HSBC Asset Management
  • Tycho Sneyers, Managing Partners at LGT Capital Partners

In this election, investment managers get one vote and the person who receives the most will be elected.

Elected by service providers

  • Peter Webster, Vigeo Eiris