PRI says it will consult signatories on new funding model next year

Initiative looking for “diverse funding base” and sets up commercial arm

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is to consult its signatories early next year on a “new funding model” to ensure it can fulfil its mission over the longer term.

The initiative – which has reached more than $45trn in assets held by signatories – says it is currently reviewing its long-term funding model as it develops its 2015-2018 strategic plan.

“A diverse funding base generating sustainable income from several sources is expected to take several years to achieve, and the PRI will be consulting with signatories in early 2015 on a new funding model to support the delivery of its next strategic plan,” the PRI says in its new annual report. The report also says that a new company, PRI Enterprises, was incorporated in November 2013 to act as a vehicle for any future commercial activity.

For the 2013/14 financial year the PRI’s income totaled £4.3m (€5.4m) – up from the previous year’s £3.5m – with signatory fees of £3.95m (2012/13: £3.2m) accounting for almost 92% of the total. The initiative’s annual PRI in Person in Cape Town in September contributed £239,000 in net income from sponsorships and delegate fees.Total expenditure rose to £4.3m, from £3.3m the year before, with staff costs accounting for £2.3m. The number of staff has grown from 43.6 full-time equivalents (FTEs) to 52.4.

The PRI’s cash reserves fell by £204,000 to £1.6m due mostly to its relocation to new offices. For the current year, the PRI expects to make a loss of £341,000 after drawing down on reserves for a variety of reasons. These included responding to requests for additional services from signatories, the growth in signatory numbers, the expansion of its work programme and the move to a mandatory reporting and assessment framework.

Meanwhile, RI has learnt that PRI Managing Director Fiona Reynolds will conduct two meetings with Danish pension funds in Copenhagen on Monday. The first will be with representatives of the schemes that have quit the PRI over governance issues. The second is with those (such as Danica and Unipension) that are still signatories.

Sources said that while the funds that left were looking forward to hearing what Reynolds had to say, they were doubtful that any progress could be made in allaying their governance concerns.