The PRI and Willis Towers Watson have today announced that they are collaborating on a project to produce a report on megatrends. 

The PRI is commissioning Willis Towers Watson to produce a report that examines how megatrends could impact the financial system and the risks and opportunities for investors in terms of asset allocation, portfolio management, integration and active ownership.

A key element of this work will involve conducting interviews and surveys with investors representing the PRI’s signatory base, to capture their reaction to the implications around megatrends in terms of their strategy and implementation of responsible investment activities. The interviews will begin this summer.

Monitoring megatrends advocates the PRI’s long-term vision for responsible investors, sustainable markets and a prosperous world for all as outlined in the PRI’s recently-launched Blueprint for Responsible Investment.

What are megatrends?

Megatrends are long-term, transformative changes that will affect and influence the economy, society and environment at large. They include social, technological, economic, environmental and political issues.

The PRI hopes that the results will provide a more complete picture of megatrends, including their general impact on environmental & societal conditions; how they could affect financial returns and decisions around capital allocation; and provide a better understanding of the impact of megatrends on the SDGs.

“Megatrends have the potential to significantly impact and alter the financial system and investment industry in which the PRI and its signatories operate,” said Nathan Fabian, director of policy & research at the PRI.

“By monitoring megatrends and capturing our signatories’ reaction to them on a systematic and continuous basis, we hope this work will better inform our services to investors.”

“We are delighted to work with the PRI on this exciting and significant initiative,” said John Haley, chief executive officer, Willis Towers Watson.

“Megatrends and macro-economic risk are at the heart of our work and our collective capabilities play an essential role in enabling governments, business and the wider financial sector to capture those opportunities and manage risk more effectively.

“Analysis of megatrends is part of our corporate DNA, from the foundations of our research and development, throughout our culture and in our day to day interactions with clients, colleagues and business partners, so we relish this project and the prospect of developing such valuable insight.”

Preliminary findings from the work will be presented at a PRI in Person breakout session on 26 September. The final report will be launched in November 2017.