Pensioenfonds Detailhandel has laid down in its Investment Beliefs it takes social responsibility seriously and therefore it integrates elements of socially responsible investment into its investment policy. To meet this Belief, the pension fund determined an independent ESG policy. Pensioenfonds Detailhandel expects its asset managers and other service providers are able to effectively implement this policy. As a result the management selection and appointment process is an essential part of the (ESG) investment policy of Pensioenfonds Detailhandel. One of the standard criteria the pension fund has set out in a selection process is the asset manager or service provider is signatory of the UN PRI or otherwise is able to execute the ESG policy in an authentic manner.
In order to be able to implement its independent ESG policy, Pensioenfonds Detailhandel decided a large part of its investments should be held in segregated accounts. The pension fund furthermore thinks countervailing power is essential in its governance structure. It therefore assigned multiple parties to, among other things, control its external managers and its investment portfolio. As a result, the pension fund hired for example a specialized party, next to the external asset manager, to implement its responsible investment policy.
Recently Pensioenfonds Detailhandel finalized a project with its largest external asset manager to integrate the ESG policy of the pension fund even further in its investment portfolio. Ultimate goal of the joined effort is to optimize the investment portfolio both for the independent ESG policy of the pension fund as for the overall investment guidelines of the pension fund (tracking error vs. benchmark, etc.).
With respect to the appointment of external managers, next to the qualities of the external managers, the pension fund thinks in general the ‘personal fit’ between Pensioenfonds Detailhandel and the external manager should be there. This means the standards and values, for example in relation to the remuneration, should be equal.