ACCESS LGPS Pool appoints Pension & Investment Research Consultants Ltd (PIRC) as ESG & RI advisor
ACCESS has appointed Pension & Investment Research Consultants Ltd (PIRC) as its external Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) & Responsible Investment (RI) advisor following a National Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Framework Procurement, to implement the pools Phase II Responsible Investment Guidelines. PIRC have been appointed to:
- advise upon, and monitoring of, developments within ESG / RI reporting requirements and arrangements;
- review the ACCESS Pool Voting Guidelines and make recommendations to enhance the voting impact in line with the RI Guidelines;
- review the ACCESS Pool RI Guidelines and ensure they are developed in line with best practice;
- assist with stewardship gap analysis and support any future ACCESS Pool Stewardship Code submission; and
- understand the current and future ESG / 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. This will incorporate the expectations ACCESS places on asset managers into the framework. These expectations include outlining responsible investment principles, main risks, how ESG is incorporated into investment decisions, stewardship, voting and engagement activities and outcomes, and reporting against TCFD.
The rapid evolution of ESG issues means there is a large volume of information to process. PIRC’s sole focus on ESG issues and its knowledge sharing processes will help ensure the Pool stays up to date with developments and best practice.
Cllr Mark Kemp-Gee, Chairman of the ACCESS Joint Committee, said, “We are delighted to be able to confirm the appointment of PIRC to the Pool as our ESG & Responsible Investment 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.”
Alan MacDougall, Managing Director of PIRC, said: “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.”
Kate Cunningham, MHP Group
Holly Rhodes, PIRC
Notes for Editors
About the ACCESS Pool
The ACCESS (A Collaboration of Central, Eastern and Southern Shires) is made of 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.
ACCESS Authorities are committed to working together and have each signed an Inter Authority Agreement, setting out how they will work together in response to the Governments pooling agenda across the LGPS, and to optimise benefits and efficiencies on behalf of their individual and collective stakeholders.
As at 30 September 2023, ACCESS’ pooled assets totalled £35bn.
About Pension & Investment Research Consultants
Pensions & Investment Research Consultants Ltd (PIRC) is Europe’s largest independent corporate governance and shareholder advisory consultancy with over 30 years’ experience in providing stewardship and proxy research services to institutional investors on environmental, social and governance issues.
PIRC provides services to clients who are stewards of over a trillion pounds of beneficiary capital. Our services protect and enhance long-term returns by promoting the highest corporate standards. Our dedicated and specialist team work closely with clients to understand their responsible investment principles and deliver their responsible investment priorities.