Insurance and saving solutions provider Utmost Group has become a signatory of the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment.
It said the move was a demonstration of the group’s “commitment to including sustainability factors in its investment decisions and ownership”.
Utmost Group chief executive Paul Thomspon added: “We believe that responsible investing has a huge role to play in building a sustainable future for current and future generations.
“The group is committed to taking a proactive approach to sustainable investment and we will continue to embed it across our business – in our strategy, in our investments and in our ongoing stewardship.
“The work of the PRI supports our mission by actively contributing to a more sustainable financial system.”
What does it do?
Institutional investors who sign up to the six principles acknowledge “a duty to act in the best long-term interests of our beneficiaries”.
“In this fiduciary role, we believe that environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues can affect the performance of investment portfolios (to varying degrees across companies, sectors, regions, asset classes and through time).”
The voluntary and aspirational principles are as follows:
- 1: We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
- 2: We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
- 3: We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
- 4: We will promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.
- 5: We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.
- 6: We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.
In good company
At the time of writing this article, Utmost Group is joining 4,690 other institutional investors from across the globe.
Broken down into three categories; they represent Service Providers (11%), Asset Owners (14%) and Investment Managers (75%).
Utmost Group sits with the asset owners, where it is joined by pension funds, insurers and banks; among others.
A quick perusal of that portion of the list flags up some familiar names:
- Zurich Insurance Group
- Sun Life
- Legal & General
- Axa Group
- Royal London
- St James’s Place
- Sanlam Life Insurance