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Danish funds quit U.N.-backed ethical investment initiative

Source: Reuters - Fri, 13 Dec 2013 11:50 AM
Author: Reuters
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COPENHAGEN, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Six Danish pension funds have decided to leave the private organisation behind the U.N.-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) because of what they say are problems of corporate governance within the organisation.

The PRI Initiative is an international network of investors working together to put into practice six principles for responsible investment. The principles relate to environmental, social and corporate governance issues.

"Despite numerous attempts to improve the conditions within PRI, we must, unfortunately, acknowledge that these attempts have not been successful," the six pension investors wrote in a joint statement on Friday.

"We will continue to be dedicated supporters of the six principles on which the organisation was originally founded."

ATP, Industriens Pension, PensionDanmark, PFA Pension, PKA and Sampension said they did not think that PRI lived up to basic requirements for good corporate governance, and wanted democracy in the organisation to be restored.

With total assets worth more than 600 billion Danish crowns ($110.6 billion) ATP ranks among the largest pension investors in Europe. PFA Pension is Denmark's biggest commercial pension fund, administering assets worth 370 billion crowns.

A spokesperson for Principles for Responsible Investment declined to comment. PRI's website says it has more than 1,200 signatories, with combined assets under management of more than $34 trillion, or more than 15 percent of the world's investable assets.

($1 = 5.4247 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Stine Jacobsen and Ole Mikkelsen; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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