We encourage signatories to actively participate in all areas of PRI governance, and there are regular opportunities for all categories of signatory to do so.
The Board is working well and we are constantly working to improve our performance. After our self-assessment in 2016 we agreed to five priority areas for the forthcoming year.
1. PRI's Blueprint for responsible investment. The Board has had a series of discussions on the PRI’s Blueprint for responsible investment. As a Board we have been working towards more dynamic discussions, with workshops devoted to long-term strategic issues for responsible investment and the PRI, plus importantly considering how we measure our success. The launch of the Blueprint has been a real success, with positive feedback from signatories on its broad vision for responsible investment. In the latter half of 2017 the Board will work with the Executive to prioritise and implement objectives from the Blueprint in the next three-year (2018-21) strategy.
2. Strategy oversight. The Board has oversight of the implementation of the strategy principally via the management report, a standing item for every Board meeting. Routine reports within the management report include: key performance indicators; work stream updates; recent and forthcoming publications; quarterly signatory update; financial accounts; partnerships and fundraising updates; human resources report. Throughout the year the Board has also discussed in depth updates on work programmes such as the Academic Network and Research Forum, how the PRI is supporting investors’ actions on climate, how the reporting framework is evolving to capture the responsible investment activities of service providers, and how the PRI is supporting French speaking signatories.
3. Asset owner recruitment and stakeholder outreach support. Throughout the year the Board provided direction to, and received regular updates on, the recruitment effort of key asset owner targets. I am glad to report that these solid foundations have contributed to recent asset owner recruitment that has exceeded expectations. The Executive has also worked with the Signatory and Stakeholder Engagement committee to prioritise key stakeholders and how the PRI can partner and communicate better with aligned organisations. Effective communication and effective partnerships avoids duplication of effort and can greatly increase our impact.
4. Balanced decision-making between the Board and Executive. While there has been an increased focus on strategic discussions around the Board table, the Executive continue to report on operational decisions to respective committees and to the Board via the management report. As well as reviewing the existing terms, rules and policies over the course of the year the Board has agreed to several new supporting governance documents. The Grant Policy, Human Rights policy and Policy committee terms of reference direct the work of the Executive and explain the decision-making and oversight role of the Board with regards to the respective areas. The Signatory Categorisation Guidelines set out clearly the criteria and process for the categorisation of organisations wishing to sign up to the Principles.
5. Committee work plans. The Board has six supporting committees and they are critical to the Board’s effectiveness. They are forums for the Board and Executive to explore strategic and governance issues in depth and from several different perspectives. Every committee has an annual work plan and calendar. The committees’ work ranges from governance to the oversight of risk to strategic guidance on the PRI’s work programmes. In March 2017 the Board agreed to establish a sixth supporting committee, the Policy committee, to guide the preparation of financial system and policy related content for the Board. For more information on the work of the committees see here.
I would like to thank the directors that departed in December 2016, Mark Chaloner, Colin Melvin and Niels Erik Petersen, for their valuable input, especially their contribution to the PRI’s governance reform. The PRI hopes to continue to benefit from the expertise of the departing board directors.
In January 2017 we welcomed two new Board directors, Eva Halvarsson, Chief Executive Officer, Second Swedish National Pension Fund (AP2) and Hiro Mizuno Executive Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer, Government Pension Investment Fund (Japan). We also welcomed back Peter Webster, Director of International Affairs, Vigeo Eiris who campaigned successfully for a second term on the Board.
The Board continues to put considerable effort into ensuring it is effective. Included in this year’s Board report are the outcomes from the 2015 and 2016 Board self-assessment and our progress on the measures to improve our effectiveness. Skills, experience and diversity are critical to a high performing board. Geographical diversity is one critical component of effective debate and decision-making. The PRI is a global organisation and aims for global representation on its Board, particularly within the asset owner designated Board positions. In our guidance to signatories for the 2017 elections we are encouraging asset owner candidates from North America and Emerging Markets, as well as encouraging female candidates for both the asset owner and investment manager positions.
I encourage all signatories to participate in the signatory voting in October and November. The PRI is a membership organisation and to continue to thrive we need to engage signatories with relevant work and activities, and signatories need to keep engaged and active in our governance. The PRI will be asking signatories to confirm my second three-year term, elect asset owner and investment manager representatives to the Board, approve the SGM minutes and vote for the PRI Annual Report and Accounts.
For my second three-year term I propose to focus on the
I encourage you to read the full PRI Board report, an overview of the work undertaken by the Board over the past year, how we work together as a unit and with the Executive. The report includes our focus on organisational purpose; the leadership of the Board; integrity measures; decision-making processes, risks and controls; actions to improve our effectiveness; how we are thinking about Board diversity and communicating this to signatories; and our efforts to be open and accountability to signatories.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of the PRI’s governance or have any questions about the proposals for my second three-year term, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The PRI wants to encourage an active dialogue between signatories and the Board. The SGM, the annual general meeting of signatories, is an important forum for communication between the Board and signatories. The Board encourages signatory participation, either in person or via webcast. The SGM is an opportunity for the Board to report to signatories on the PRI’s strategy and its implementation; the work undertaken by the Board and its committees; forthcoming Board elections; formal consultations and any other business.
The SGM will be webcast for signatories that cannot attend in person. For more information on how to participate by webcast and submit questions in advance, please contact email@example.com.
The PRI sought input from signatories on the Signatory General Meeting (SGM) draft agenda in June 2017 and invited signatories to contribute agenda items and resolutions to be put to a vote.
No agenda items or resolutions were received by the deadline of 25 July. However, time has been set aside for signatories to ask questions. If you have detailed financial or legal questions, please submit these in advance of the meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org.