Responsible investment the national pensions reserve fund and active ownership
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Responsible Investment: The National Pensions Reserve Fund and Active Ownership. Annette Egan, Conor Trodden MDP Research Project, Trocaire 8 November 2010. Introduction. The National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) and Responsible investment Active ownership

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Responsible Investment: The National Pensions Reserve Fund and Active Ownership

Annette Egan, Conor Trodden

MDP Research Project, Trocaire

8 November 2010


Introduction

  • The National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) and Responsible investment

  • Active ownership

    • voting on shareholder resolutions

    • engagement with companies on environmental and social issues

  • Case studies of companies the NPRF invests in

  • Norway and Sweden’s responsible investment as a model for Ireland


Research questions

  • Are NPRF’s investment activities in coherence with their responsible investment policy

  • By investing its pension fund in companies with alleged human rights violations and negative environmental impacts, can the Irish state be seen to be complicit?


Background

  • Responsible investment and concerns over actions of trans-national corporations.

  • Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues

  • UNPRI

  • NPRF

  • Hermes


Methodology

  • Hermes proxy voting records at company AGMs

  • Human Rights Watch research

  • Norwegian’s Pension Fund divestment list

  • Company proxy statements of shareholder resolutions.

  • Analysis of engagement reports to investigate whether the NPRF and Hermes is engaging with companies


Findings and discussion


Findings and discussion


Case Studies – How Hermes Voted


Norway/Sweden RI Models

  • Securing profitable long term returns and avoiding risk of complicity through investment in companies engaged in actions contrary to the values of Norwegian society.

  • Council on Ethics - evaluates whether investment in companies is consistent with the ethical guidelines

  • Active ownership, positive and negative screening and exclusion


Conclusion and recommendations

  • Transparency – Voting explanation

  • Is engagement best carried out by Hermes?

    • Leave Hermes as proxy voter but have NPRF more involved in engagement – Council of Ethics.

  • Move to Norwegian/Sweden model of active ownership?

  • Legislative change to incorporate ES issues in SRI policy


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