Why sign the Principles for Responsible Investment?

Signing the internationally-recognised Principles for Responsible Investment allows your organisation to publicly demonstrate its commitment to responsible investment, and places it at the heart of a global community seeking to build a more sustainable financial system.

Being a signatory provides access to all of the support and resources that the PRI provides, including reports and guides, the Collaboration Portal, the PRI Data Portal, a regional Network Manager and reporting and assessment tools to measure and communicate your progress. Signatories are invited to PRI events held around the world, and receive exclusive discounts to the world’s largest responsible investment event, the annual PRI in Person conference.

Who can sign the Principles?

Any organisation fitting one of the three signatory categories described below can sign up to the Principles for Responsible Investment. Commitment is required from the very top of the organisation, across the entire investment business.

ASSET OWNERS INVESTMENT MANAGERS SERVICE PROVIDERS*
*Also referred to as professional service partners
Organisations that represent the holders of long-term retirement savings, insurance and other assets. Examples include pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, foundations, endowments, insurance and reinsurance companies and other financial institutions that manage deposits. This is the principal category of signatory. Organisations that manage or control investment funds, either on its own account or on behalf of others, and which does not own more than half of such investment funds. Organisations that offer products or services to asset owners and/or investment managers. Although such companies are not stewards or managers of assets in their own right, they do have considerable influence over how their clients address ESG issues. For this group, becoming a signatory is a commitment to providing, developing and promoting services that support clients’ implementation of the Principles. 

Signatories self-select the category that they fall into, but the PRI Board reserves the right to determine which category is most appropriate. While the categories are not designed to be overly prescriptive, these guidelines highlight the main principles that the PRI follows to confirm a signatory category.

How do we sign the Principles?

1. Confirm your organisation’s approval of the Principles by submitting the relevant declaration below on your company’s letterhead, signed by your CEO (or equivalent). 

2. Provide your company details, contact information and reasons for signing in the application form.

Send all of the above information to info@unpri.org.

The PRI aims to process applications within two weeks. Once provisionally approved we will send you an invoice covering the period until the start of the next fee year (1 April), upon payment of which your application will be fully approved and the PRI will contact you to welcome you and introduce you to all of the resources at your disposal.

What are we required to after signing?

The six Principles themselves are voluntary and aspirational. For most signatories, the commitments are a work-in-progress and provide direction for their responsible investment efforts, rather than a checklist with which to comply.

The only mandatory requirement, beyond paying the annual membership fee, is to publicly report on your responsible investment activity through the Reporting Framework. For the first full reporting cycle in which an organisation is a signatory, it is voluntary to report, meaning the timeframe for starting compulsory reporting will be somewhere between 12 and 24 months after signing, depending on when in the year the organisation signs the Principles. The PRI encourages signatories to report during the voluntary year as a learning experience.

Organisations that have been signatories and delisted can re-join the PRI. However, when they do so, they will not be granted the customary grace period of one reporting cycle.

Signatories delisted for failing to report will not be officially relisted until they have completed the reporting framework. If the framework is open they can do it immediately, if it is closed they will need to wait until the tool is active.

For more details, see the Signatory accountability section.

Provisional signatories

Investment managers that are still raising funds, rather than actively managing assets, can sign pre-emptively as provisional signatories. This requires submitting a private placement memorandum or official letter stating the assets intended to be raised in the first year of becoming a signatory. After one year, provisional status is reviewed and can be extended at PRI’s discretion. Provisional signatories who enter the compulsory reporting period must complete only the Organisational overview and Strategy and governance modules.

What rights do signatories have?

As a signatory-based organisation, we encourage signatories to participate actively in all areas of PRI governance, and there are regular opportunities for all categories of signatory to do so.

For more details, see the PRI governance section.

What does it cost to be a signatory?

The annual signatory fee is payable each April and is scaled according to each signatory’s category, type and assets under management. 

Fees

Asset owners

AUM (US$ bln)2017/18 fee (£)2018/19 fee (£)

>50

8,190

8,440

30 - 50

8,190

8,440

10 - 29.99

8,190

8,440

5 - 9.99

6,210

6,400

1 - 4.99

2,860

2,950

0.1 - 0.99

820

840

0 - 0.09

450

460

Investment managers

AUM (US$ bln)2017/18 fee (£)2018/19 fee (£)

>50

13,270

13,670

30 - 50

11,670

12,020

10 - 29.99

10,610

10,930

5 - 9.99

7,430

7,650

1 - 4.99

4,240

4,370

0.1 - 0.99

1,600

1,650

0 - 0.09

1,060

1,090

Service providers

Staff2017/18 fee (£)2018/19 fee (£)

>200

8,190

8,440

51 - 200

6,210

6,400

26 - 50

2,860

2,950

11 - 25

820

840

<10

450

460

The PRI Board approved the signatory fee levels for 2018/19 at its September 2017 meeting. It was agreed that the only increase from 2016/17 levels would be in line with UK inflation. 

Discounts and waivers

Asset owners headquartered in a country classified by the IMF as an emerging market or developing economy are entitled to apply for a fee discount. Please refer to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook 2016 (Statistical Appendix, p.209) for a full list of eligible countries.

The PRI will consider reciprocal fee waivers with organisations whose work is closely aligned with the Principles and the PRI’s strategic plan, where it makes business sense for both organisations to do so.

The PRI will bill service providers based on only their investment staff, where that service provider has distinct divisions that provide distinct services. If one of those divisions provides a service that is not relevant to investors (and therefore the principles), this division will be excluded from the fee calculation.

For further details or to apply for a discount, please contact Katherine Pruski. For more details on the PRI’s funding, see the Financial information page.

Associate membership

Associate membership gives potential asset owner signatories a stepping stone into responsible investment. It offers associate members a chance to familiarise themselves with the PRI framework and agenda whilst taking on fewer reporting obligations and without the publicity of regular PRI membership. The focus is on learning about ESG and developing responsible investment processes in preparation for becoming a regular signatory.

  • Associate membership is only available to asset owners
  • Tenure is limited to a two-year period after which regular signatory status will be obtained automatically
  • Reporting will be voluntary and private - assessment results will be provided if associate members complete full reporting for all applicable modules
  • Associate members can transfer to regular signatory status at any point
  • Current or former signatories will not be considered for Associate Membership
  • Applicants based in emerging markets will automatically be granted the 33% emerging market discount

Requirements

  • Payment of standard fee
  • CEO/CIO sign off on declaration

Access and rights

  • Newsletters
  • Direct relationship with local PRI representative
  • Access to online Investment Practices tools
  • Access to one free PRI Academy course
  • Access to annual reporting (voluntary)
  • Assessment results (if completing full reporting)
  • Reporting support and development session with the PRI
  • No access to Data Portal
  • No access to Collaboration Platform
  • No voting rights
  • Not eligible for PRI governing positions
  • Not allowed to use the PRI logo

If you have any questions about the associate membership category, please contact info@unpri.org

To apply please complete the associate membership application form and declaration for associate members and send to info@unpri.org.