West Midlands Pension Fund signs up to UN Principles for Responsible Investment

Latest pension fund to sign up to the PRI

The £7.7bn (€8.6bn) West Midlands Pension Fund has become the latest pension fund to sign up to the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment.

The Wolverhampton-based fund, which has a long standing policy of supporting good corporate governance in investee companies, has over 242,000 members and 180 Scheme employers. Its assets are primarily run in-house.

In June last year it issued a statement on the potential impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster on its portfolio. It said its 0.5% holding in oil major BP would “not impact adversely” on its long-term investment strategy and ability to pay pensions.

It uses PIRC for analysis of governance and executing its proxy voting rights.West Midlands’ joining means there are now a total of 239 asset owner signatories to the PRI out of a total of 914 members. In the UK, there are now 27 asset owners from 121 signatories.

Separately, the fund is looking to hire an investment adviser, with a deadline set for August 18.
Other new PRI signatories include: Valtion Eläkerahasto (Finland); Silk Invest (UK); Afena Capital (South Africa); Ankura Capital (Australia); Sovereign Assurance (New Zealand); InfraRed Capital Partners (UK); Low Carbon Investors (UK); MCH Private Equity (Spain) and Paradigm Change Capital (UK).
Paradigm Change recently named PRI Chairman Wolfgang Engshuber to its advisory board.