Environment Agency aims for greener pension fund

A pension fund management company noted for environmentally-friendly investment is to help handle the Environment Agency's £1.5 billion retirement savings.

The appointment of the Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) to take on £55 million of the watchdog’s fund assets on behalf of its 19,000 members underlines the agency’s commitment to running an ethical fund.

Howard Pearce, agency head of environmental finance and pension fund management, said: “We aim to be the public sector leader in financially robust and environmentally responsible investment and pension fund management.

“RLAM was appointed following a very rigorous selection process. We believe they possess the necessary investment processes and track record to deliver our demanding financial performance targets and our responsible investment requirements.”

The agency says it is confident environmentally-friendly investments can be made while maintaining what it calls “the best risk/reward ratio”.

RLAM, which has more than £31 billion of assets under its management, is the eleventh member of a stable of specialist fund managers.

It has been awarded a three-year management agreement, which can be extended subject to satisfactory performance.

Mr Howard said performance evaluation would include the degree of “integration of environmental considerations into risk management and security selection”.

He added: “Their relative performance will also be benchmarked using corporate governance and socially responsible investment indices and environmental reporting tools.”

Under Local Government Pension Scheme investment rules the contract can be terminated if it under performs.

The agency noted RLAM’s commitment to environmentally-friendly investment while maintaining optimum financial performance.

RLAM has won several awards for its work, including the 2006 City of London Corporation and UK Social Investment Forum Liveable City Award and the 2006 Global Money Management Public Pension Fund of the Year Award.

David Gibbs

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