ABP seeks ESG partners - By Andrew Sheen

Posted by ProjectC 
By Andrew Sheen
18 December 2007

NETHERLANDS – The ABP pension fund has expressed a desire to enter into a partnership with one or more of Europe’s large pension funds to create a flagship body to pursue environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments.

ABP's chief investment officer Roderick Munster announced the initiative at an indexation presentation in Amsterdam yesterday.

A spokesperson for ABP told Global Pensions the process was in its very early stages and nothing definite had been confirmed or decided as of yet. He said ABP had just begun drawing up the shortlist of funds to approach but as the deal was in its very preliminary stages he could not offer further details other than the likely partners were other large European institutional investors.

He said there would hopefully be more information to reveal when ABP presents its annual report in March next year.

He said the initiative would involve engaging with listed companies. The economic benefit would therefore be indirect but ABP believes that companies with strategies which place a high value on ESG will perform better in the long term.

ABP has been at the forefront of European efforts to foster more socially responsible and environmentally sustainable investments. The fund was a vocal supporter of efforts to create a UN framework to bind companies to tackling climate change.

Also, Global Pensions reported in October that ABP and PGGM had entered into an agreement to create the Ampère Equity Fund. The fund is designed to invest half a billion euros in dozens of sustainable energy projects which are expected to deliver an attractive yield on investment.