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6 Apr 2020

Investment & Pensions Europe

Principles for Responsible Investment launches two signatory COVID-19 investor response groups

"PRI launches signatory COVID-19 investor response groups", 3 April 2020

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has launched two signatory groups to facilitate discussions about investor responses to the COVID-19 crisis.

One is about responses to the crisis in the short-term, while the second is about ensuring “a sustainable financial system” in the economic recovery phase.

The groups were foreshadowed in a briefing from the PRI last week about “immediate actions” responsible investors should take in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

It identified seven in total, starting with engaging with companies that are “failing in their crisis management”.

The organisation said investors should encourage companies to practice responsible financial management that allowed them to prioritise employees, contractors, suppliers and the longer term health of the company itself over bonuses for executives, and buy-backs and dividends for shareholders.

Although investors should give management and boards the space to focus on crisis management, they should also be on watch for examples of companies or governments “using the cover of the crisis to avoid scrutiny”...

Another recommended action [...] was for investors to “use their public voice to encourage governments and companies to take appropriate action”...

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