The UN-affiliated Principles for Responsible Investment has today announced the launch of a revitalised offering from its Academy arm.
The launch seeks to proactively address the dynamic and evolving needs of investment professionals, introducing a revamped suite of courses supported by a new learning platform.
The PRI is the world’s leading proponent of responsible investment. With more than 4,300 signatories to its six UN-backed Principles, representing a collective $121tn AUM, the organisation has emerged as a leader in the field of responsible investment over the last decade, setting the standard for the industry and leading the way on developing best practice around Environmental, Social and Governance factors.
The Academy is the education arm of PRI and provides practical and applied online responsible investment training, educating over 12,000 investment professionals since 2014.
The Academy’s offering is designed to address the prevalent ESG skills gap within the investment sector. While ESG has become a dominant theme in the industry in recent years, firms increasingly face a challenge in ensuring their staff are familiar with key ESG issues at every stage of the investment process.
The PRI Academy’s offering is designed to address this issue with three courses designed for staff in all levels and roles, developed in conjunction with PRI subject-matter experts and thought leaders across the industry:
Understanding Responsible Investment (RI) – introduces the principles that underlie and define responsible investment. The course is ideally suited to those who need a working understanding of responsible investment, such as client-facing staff, sales and marketing professionals and the wider organisational team.
Applied Responsible Investment (RI) – the Academy’s flagship training programme, providing a comprehensive examination of responsible investment from theory to practice. The course focusses on the practical application of ESG concepts in investment and ownership decisions, and as such is well-suited to those who advise on or make investment decisions.
Advanced Responsible Investment (RI) Analysis – provides an in-depth and applied examination of the use of sustainability data in fundamental analysis and is designed for investment analysts and portfolio managers.
The Academy also offers a course for trustees, designed to offer a perspective on key ESG issues and considerations from a trustee standpoint.
The courses have been tailored to meet the changing needs of the market, including updates on key regulatory developments such as the EU Taxonomy, a greater focus on climate change, and new sections covering fixed income responsible investment.
Public awareness of ESG issues has increased markedly in recent years and ESG-aligned funds have begun to attract higher inflows. However, as the theme has become more mainstream, it has increasingly become necessary for staff beyond those with direct responsibility for managing money to have a working understanding of ESG issues, in order to represent a firm’s activity accurately to external stakeholders and ensure that ESG considerations are truly integrated throughout the organisation.
The PRI Academy’s courses are designed to fill this gap. The courses not only address the needs of those in a “front line” investment role, with direct responsibility for investment decisions, but also those who need to understand ESG issues from a communications or advisory capacity, such as those in client-facing roles, in addition to those in an operational positions for whom a working knowledge of responsible investment principles is increasingly valuable.
Commenting, PRI CEO Fiona Reynolds said: “The PRI is committed to facilitating positive change by educating and convening investors across the spectrum of ESG issues. A key consideration underpinning this is the level of knowledge around responsible investment. As ESG issues become more advanced, it’s increasingly clear that firms who truly embed these issues into every stage of their process are best placed to not only discharge their responsibilities as ESG-aligned investors, but also to seize the opportunities that ESG investment offers.”
PRI Academy Director Anthony Reynolds commented: “We’re thrilled to release the Academy’s new, revitalised offering to the market. The PRI Academy has established itself at the forefront ESG education. This new offering helps put us firmly in a market-leading position, delivering quality, focussed and outcome-driven training to staff at every stage of the responsible investment process.”
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About the UN PRI
The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is the world’s leading proponent of responsible investment. Supported by the United Nations, it works to understand the investment implications of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and to support its international network of investor signatories in incorporating these factors into their investment and ownership decisions. The PRI acts in the long-term interests of its signatories, of the financial markets and economies in which they operate and ultimately of the environment and society as a whole. Launched in New York in 2006, the PRI has grown to more than 4,300 signatories.