UK corporate governance leader Railpen signs up to UNPRI

€20bn railway fund the latest asset owner to sign up

The Railways Pension Trustee Co. Ltd., the trustee for the UK’s £17bn (€20bn) various railway pension funds, has signed up to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.
Railpen is a long-standing proponent of responsible ownership, having been one of the first UK occupational pension funds to publish a corporate governance and voting policy. It introduced active voting for all of its UK equities as long ago as 1992.
Railpen’s in-house corporate governance team of Frank Curtiss and Deborah Gilshan are well-known figures in the industry. Most recently it has taken a leading role in supporting the Financial Reporting Council’s new Stewardship Code.
Railpen’s inclusion takes the PRI’s asset owner signatories to 215.
Railpen had initially been wary of joining the PRI as it was unsure whether it could incorporateenvironmental, social and governance (ESG) factors across its entire investment analysis and decision-making process – one of the key requirements of the principles. Railpen is known for taking a leading role in bodies such as the UK’s National Association of Pension Funds, the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), the UK Corporate Governance Forum and the Global Investors Governance Network. It works with the Council of Institutional Investors in the US, Eumedion in the Netherlands, and the Australian Council of Super Investors (ACSI). It has a voting and engagement alliance with fellow UK pension fund the Universities Superannuation Scheme.
Railpen’s joining the PRI will be a further boost for the organisation, which is building both its membership and staff numbers ahead of introducing annual fees of up to $10,000 next year.