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Rathbones 10 years as Principles for Responsible Investment signatory

14 October 2019

Investment manager Rathbones is celebrating its tenth anniversary as a signatory of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment. 

Since signing up to the PRI in 2009, Rathbones says it has engaged on many issues under the environmental, social and governance categories, including pushing for better climate disclosures; encouraging water risk disclosure for oil and gas companies; combatting deforestation in cattle supply chains, advocating for an Arms Trade Treaty; contributing to the development of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; engaging on anti-corruption and anti-bribery with multinational companies; and promoting better operational standards in the audit industry.

Matt Crossman, stewardship director, Rathbones, said: “Our involvement with the PRI goes back to September 2009, when Rathbones had around £10 billion in assets under management, compared to close to £50 billion today. Our membership, of what was then a fledgling organisation, was something that resonated strongly with Rathbones’ history and culture.

“Our membership was spearheaded by Rathbone Greenbank Investments. The decision to sign up to the PRI was supported by the wider organisation, to align with the principles and commit to building on our existing approach. As active investors, engagement with the companies we invest in has always been part of our process. We recognised that governance and other non-financial risks can be material factors in the determination of investment risk and return outcomes for our clients.”

However, Crossman admitted that the firm also faced the challenge of operating a detailed stance on ESG in private wealth management, where each client’s specific needs and requests needed to be met.

He added: “We are really motivated by addressing this challenge and aspire to lead the private client sector in this area.  Today we remain committed to progressing the responsible investment agenda and ensuring that we adapt our approach as new information becomes available.”

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