Swedish fund Sjunde AP-fonden (AP7) has put out a tender for ESG screening analysis, proxy research and voting services.
In addition to ‘norms-based screenings’, the €60bn scheme is also looking for the provision of “Paris climate agreement screening” and “cannabis screening”.
The successful tenderer(s) will also support AP7’s engagement efforts and provide “custom” proxy research and voting support.
AP7 put out a similar tender in 2016, at that time GES Investment Services and Ethix SRI Advisors were the incumbent providers. Ethix SRI Advisors was bought by ISS in 2015, becoming ISS-Ethix and GES was acquired by Sustaianalytics in 2019.
Last month, AP7, which is the government’s default fund for its premium pension system, announced that it had settled the legal action it brought against Alphabet in 2019 after the Californian tech giant failed to respond adequately to its concerns over alleged mishandling of sexual misconduct.
AP7 said in a press statement that the decision to settle was prompted by commitments made by Alphabet, including the company investing $310m over the next ten years to improve diversity and inclusion within the group.
Speaking to RI in 2018 when the legal action was still being mulled, AP7’s CEO Richard Gröttheim described litigation “as the fourth [engagement] tool in our box to help on ESG.”
Following the settlement, Gröttheim said: ”This settlement feels great both for the sake of the employees at Google and for the sake of the shareholders. Sexual harassment affects many more than those directly affected. In order for us as owners to be able to drive change through legal proceedings, special conditions are required. This case shows that it can be a very effective way under the right circumstances”.
At the end of 2019 AP7 had 14 ongoing legal processes, it said.
Closing date for AP7’s new tender is 3 December.