Tapiola Asset Management Ltd has signed the United Nations’ (UN) Principles for Responsible Investment.
By signing the document, Tapiola Asset Management commits to complying with and promoting aspects connected with the environment, society and good corporate governance in investment analysis, investment decisions and ownership policies, amongst other things.
Tapiola Asset Management has applied its own principles of responsible investment in its investment processes since 2007. The UN’s principles reinforce Tapiola Asset Management’s own responsibility guidelines.
“Tapiola Asset Management has complied with its own principles of responsible investment in all of its activities and in all asset classes for several years already. The UN’s principles make Tapiola Asset Management’s responsible investment practices even more tangible and form a basis for the further development of our operations,” says Tom Liljeström, Managing Director of Tapiola Asset Management.
The practices of Tapiola Asset Management already include regular meetings between portfolio managers and companies that are investment targets, and maintaining a dialogue with target companies. Tapiola Asset Management started the corporate responsibility classification of companies in autumn 2009. The classification is done on the basis of Tapiola’s own analysis and meetings with the companies. The Assistant Director responsible for equity and fixed-income investments, Outi Kalpio, is in charge of Tapiola Asset Management’s responsible investing and its development.
“Evaluation of our investment targets’ corporate responsibility has already been incorporated as part of the investment process in such a way that it has an impact on the portfolio manager’s work and company analysis. As managers of assets, we also have a responsibility to produce the best possible risk-return ratio for our customers in the long term. We aim to minimise risks and seek return while demanding responsibility,” says Kalpio.
Dialogue with investment targets helps implement responsibility principles in practice
The UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) include six principles that Tapiola has committed to complying with and actively promoting. In addition to aspects associated with the environment, society and good corporate governance, the signature obligates companies to promote the acceptance and implementation of the principles in the field of investments, alone as well as in collaboration with other actors in the industry. Companies that have signed the principles commit to reporting on their activities and their progress in implementing the principles annually. Sufficient disclosure concerning the effects of these aspects is also expected of investment targets.
“Regular meetings with companies are a way to promote the implementation of principles required by the UN's principles for responsible investments through dialogue. Signing the UN’s principles of responsibility is a natural continuation of our well established responsible investment philosophy,” says Kalpio.
UN’s principles are becoming established norms in the investment industry
The UN’s principles are also supported by the fact that they are becoming established norms in the investment industry: institutional investors have got to know them and accepted them widely. “The commitment of an asset manager to corporate responsibility principles is also very important to private customers,” says Outi Kalpio.
Signing the UN’s principles opens up new opportunities for Tapiola Asset Management for networking and influencing the field of responsible investing. “It is important to get the latest information on industry developments, but we also want to have an influence and to be a forerunner as a responsible investor,” say Liljeström and Kalpio.
Tapiola Asset Management’s funds have more than 44,000 unit holders and, in 2009, the total assets managed by Asset Management were approximately EUR 5.6 billion. Tapiola Asset Management is among the largest asset management companies in Finland.
At the start of 2010, the return of Tapiola Asset Management’s funds in relation to the risk taken was the highest among Finnish fund companies, according to Eufex Oy’s efficiency analysis (source: Eufex 5 January 2010).
The UN's principles for responsible investment were launched globally in spring 2006. At the start of January 2010, there were 663 signed companies and corporations. Within the Tapiola Group, the principles were signed in 2008 by Tapiola Pension, which is Finland’s third largest pension insurance company and among the country’s largest institutional investors.
Assistant Director, equity and fixed-income investments
+358 9 453 3188
Managing Director, Tapiola Asset Management Ltd
+358 9 453 2102
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Tapiola Corporate Communications/ Tiina Riippa