LGPS Access Pool appoints PIRC as ESG and RI adviser

The Access Pool has appointed Pension & Investment Research Consultants (PIRC) as its external environmental, social and governance (ESG) and responsible investment (RI) adviser.

PIRC was appointed to implement the pools phase II responsible investment guidelines, following a National Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Framework Procurement.

As part of this, it will be advising the pool upon, and monitoring of, developments within ESG and RI reporting requirements and arrangements, as well as assisting with stewardship gap analysis.

It will also review the Access Pool voting guidelines and make recommendations to enhance the voting impact in line with the RI guidelines, and review the Access Pool RI guidelines and ensure they are developed in line with best practice.

In addition to this, PIRC will look to understand the current and future ESG and RI related challenges faced by, and opportunities open to, institutional asset owners with particular reference to reporting requirements.

PIRC will use the Access RI guidelines as the starting point to deliver a universal reporting framework, which will incorporate the expectations Access places on asset managers into the framework.

This includes outlining responsible investment principles, main risks, how ESG is incorporated into investment decisions, stewardship, voting and engagement activities and outcomes, and reporting against Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

The Access Pool includes 11 LGPS administering authorities: Cambridgeshire County Council; East Sussex County Council; Essex County Council; Hampshire County Council; Hertfordshire County Council; Isle of Wight Council; Kent County Council; Norfolk County Council; West Northamptonshire Council; Suffolk County Council; and West Sussex County Council.

Commenting on the appointment, Access Joint Committee chairman, Cllr Mark Kemp-Gee, stated: “We are delighted to be able to confirm the appointment of PIRC to the pool as our ESG and RI advisor.

“We will be benefiting from PIRC’s experience which will ensure that our new initiatives and best practices are up to the mark.

"It is another major step in Access' progress as we expand our ESG and Responsible Investment oversight for our stakeholders’ investments.”

PIRC managing director, Alan MacDougall, added: “We are extremely pleased to have been selected by ACCESS to support them meet their stewardship needs and ambitions. ACCESS has a clear set of priorities focused on delivering value and the views of its 11 LGPS administering authorities.

“We are therefore looking forward to using our ESG and LGPS expertise to work with ACCESS and the 11 authorities to develop and strengthen the pool’s ESG and responsible investment policies and practices in line with their distinct stewardship approach and requirements.”

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