Tuesday, March 1, 2011

PIIF – a new UNPRI initiative

I love the SRI world – new acronyms popping up every day!
PIIF stand for Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance, an initiative of investors and Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. The group developed PIIF together with the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the World Bank’s Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), and several key industry players.

Signatories to the Principles acknowledge that poorer clients are often disadvantaged by asymmetries in financial knowledge, power, and influence. By signing the principles, investors state their commitment to fair treatment and protection of the interests of the ultimate client in inclusive finance—low-income households and small and medium-enterprises.

Signatories commit to adhering to and promoting 7 principles, each of which has a range of possible actions. The principles are as follows:
1. Range of Services. We will actively support retail providers to innovate and expand the range of financial services available to low income people in order to help them reduce their vulnerability, build assets, manage cash-flow, and increase incomes.

2. Client Protection. We believe that client protection is crucial for low income clients. Therefore we will integrate client protection in our investment policies and practices.

3. Fair treatment. We will treat our investees fairly with appropriate financing that meets demand, clear and balanced contracts, and fair processes for resolving disputes.

4. Responsible Investment. We will include environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues in our investment policies and reporting.

5. Transparency. We will actively promote transparency in all aspects.

6. Balanced Returns. We will strive for a balanced long-term social and financial risk-adjusted return that recognizes the interests of clients, retail providers, and our investors.

7. Standards. We will collaborate to set harmonised investor standards that support the further development of inclusive finance.

Sarona Asset Management is a Canadian signatory to PIIF, and one of the original 40 entities to be on board at the launch. Gerhard Pries, President of Sarona, is very excited to be part of the new initiative. “I would say that, as private investors become more concerned about the social and environmental impact of their capital investments, such initiatives are a great way to turn their concerns into actions. The PIIF is a commitment by investors to invest only when certain standards of ethics and community benefit are met.”

PIIF is adding new signatories every day reflecting growing interest and investments into inclusive finance and demand for investor guidance. Read the full Principles here.

No comments:

Post a Comment