Local groups delist from UN initiative

29-Aug-2014

By Wouter Klijn

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Fifteen Australian organisations have delisted as signatories to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) initiative.

The total comprises 10 fund managers, four service providers and one asset owner.

A number of delistings were due to the closure of funds or mergers between companies.

In September last year, Arkx Investment Management closed its Global Listed Clean Energy Fund.

The fund manager was unable to raise sufficient funds and its backer, Westpac-owned Ascalon Capital Managers, pulled out.

Meanwhile, Challenger-backed Five Oceans Asset Management closed in June this year, also due to a lack of inflows, and subsequently delisted from the PRI.

Orion Asset Management significantly scaled back its operations in December last year and now only manages a small fund for retail investors.

TAAM Asia Pacific Investments was sold by Treasury Group in October last year and is now part of Nikko Asset Management, which is a signatory of the PRI.

Other fund managers that delisted were private equity firm Anacacia Capital, APN Property Group, Australian Pastoral Funds Management, Catalyst Investment Managers, Cromwell Property Group and Mecu.

Anacacia was not available for comment about its reason, while a spokesperson for APN Property group was unaware of the delisting.

The sole asset owner to delist between July 2013 and June 2014 was Local Super, following its merger in July 2012 with StatewideSuper, which is already a signatory to the PRI.

The list also included four Australian service providers: Blue Sky Water Partners, Repu Tex Group, SIRIS and The Emerald Club.

In December last year, a group of Danish pension funds caused some controversy over their decision to delist from the principles.

The pension funds, which together control more than $330 billion in funds under management, expressed discontent over a reduction in voting rights due to changes in the PRI initiative’s constitution.

But the funds said they would continue to adhere to the principles, despite delisting as signatories.

Overall, however, the PRI initiative added 177 new signatories from 53 countries between July 2013 and June 2014.

That was more than the number of delistings, which globally amounted to 121 organisations.

There are now 1262 signatories to the initiative, with over US$45 trillion in assets under management.

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