Supporting effective governance

Objective 13

Deliver and support an effective governance structure

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 collectively responsible for the long-term success of the PRI, in particular:

  • establishing the PRI’s mission, vision and values;
  • setting the strategy, risk appetite and structure;
  • delegating the implementation of the strategy to the PRI Association Executive (the Executive);
  • monitoring the Executive’s performance against the strategy;
  • exercising accountability to signatories;
  • being responsible to relevant stakeholders.


Proportion of signatories saying that...

...they understand the role of the PRI Board:


...the PRI provides an appropriate level of disclosure relating to Board governance:


...against targets of 60%.


Martin Skancke
Martin Skancke

Chair, PRI

Appointed until 2017

Marcel Barros
Marcel Barros

Board member, PREVI, BR

Elected until 2017

Mark Chaloner
Mark Chaloner

Assistant Director (Investments), West Midlands Pension Fund, UK

Elected until 2017

Angela Emslie
Angela Emslie 

Chair, Hesta Superfund, AUS 

Elected until 2018

Priya Mathur
Priya Mathur

Board member, CalPERS, US

Elected until 2017

Renosi Mokate
Renosi Mokate

Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), SA

Elected until 2017

Niels Erik Petersen
Niels Erik Petersen

CIO,Unipension FAIF A/S, DK

Elected until 2016

Xander den Uyl
Xander den Uyl

Trustee, ABP, NL

Elected until 2018

Geeta Aiyer
Geeta Aiyer

President and Founder, Boston Common, US

Elected until 2017

Sandra Carlisle
Sandra Carlisle

Head of Responsible Investment, Newton Investment Management, UK

Elected until 2018

Colin Melvin
Colin Melvin

Chair, Hermes Equity Ownership Services, UK

Elected until 2016

Peter Webster
Peter Webster

Director of International Affairs, Vigeo Eiris & CEO EIRIS Foundation, UK

Elected until 2016

Gavin Power
Gavin Power

Deputy Director, UNGC

Eric Usher
Eric Usher



The five Board committees support the operation of the Board, working with the Executive on discussion points before final recommendations are made to the Board.


During the 2015/16 financial year the Board meet three times in person and three times via conference call. Key items for discussion and approval:


  • Long-term ambitions and impact
  • Blueprint for Responsible Investment
  • Signatory accountability
  • Sustainable financial system consultation
  • Alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Asia strategy
  • Role in COP21
  • Strategic measures
  • Fiduciary duty in the 21st century
  • Reporting framework
  • Policy and research work plan
  • Priority PRI-coordinated engagements
  • Asset owner recruitment
  • 2015 Report on progress
  • 2016 Signatory satisfaction and engagement


  • 2015/16 budget
  • 2016/17 budget
  • 2016 signatory fees
  • Human resources
  • PRI risks and risk management framework
  • Establishment of a US C corporation
  • PRI in Person 2015
  • PRI in Person 2016
  • PRI’s 10-year anniversary plans
  • Framework for signatory relationship management
  • Framework for key stakeholder relationship management


  • Company secretary
  • Auditors
  • Board committees’ terms of reference
  • Rules and policies required by the Articles
  • UN Permanent Advisors Terms of Reference
  • Board self-assessment
  • Chair assessment
  • Board elections
  • Signatory categorisation guidelines and precedents


Following a self-assessment, the Board agreed on four action points to improve its effectiveness:

  1. Develop the induction process for new directors.
  2. Develop individual director self-assessments, linked to succession planning and development of Board leaders.
  3. Clarify the expectations of current directors (and future directors) in the election materials, for example on PRI advocacy, regional representation, asset owner recruitment and working with stakeholders.
  4. Set Board goals for the forthcoming year.

The Board agreed to five goals for the forthcoming year:

  1. Oversee the implementation of the strategy.
  2. Oversee the delivery of the 10-year anniversary plans.
  3. Support asset owner recruitment and stakeholder outreach.
  4. Establish balance of decision-making between the Executive and the Board.
  5. Develop work plans for the Board committees.


Signatories acknowledge that the PRI’s Board needs to be representative of the diversity amongst PRI signatories in order to generate effective debate and discussion around the key issues that it considers, and to deliver the broadly-founded leadership that the initiative deserves. Diversity encompasses a sufficient mix of relevant skills/competence, and differing perspectives, including through geographical origin, ethnicity, gender, language and culture.

The PRI is a global organisation, and aims for global representation on its Board, particularly within the asset owner positions. The current Board is relatively geographically diverse, including representatives from Africa, Australasia, Europe, North America and South America, but there is no representative from a signatory with senior experience at an asset owner headquartered in Asia. As a result, the Board is proactively encouraging potential candidates in the region.

The current Board has a 65:35 ratio of male to female directors.

The Board undertook a skills self-assessment exercise that found the current Board is strong on: strategic thinking and leadership, and knowledge of the pension and investment industry (including responsible investment). As a result, the PRI is encouraging 2016 PRI Board election candidates who could strengthen the Board with expertise in governance and risk management (gained from Board experience) and expertise of working across multiple jurisdictions (gained from experience within global organisations).

Candidates will therefore be asked to set out within their election materials: governance experience, such as previous/current Board experience, and experience in investment markets outside of Europe/US, especially Asia. Candidates are also asked to elaborate on their demonstrated leadership within responsible investment, ESG expertise and other experience relevant to the long-term success of the PRI.


The Signatory General Meeting (SGM), held the day before PRI in Person each year, 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.

For more information on the Board discussions and approved items, the work of the committees, the measures to improve the Board’s effectiveness, Board skills/diversity/experience and the forthcoming signatory votes, see the SGM section.