'Doing Good by Investing Well' - Pension Funds and Socially Responsible Investment: Results of an Expert Survey

Allianz Global Investors International Pension Paper No. 1/2010

20 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2010

Date Written: January 15, 2010

Abstract

Socially responsible investment has evolved from being an approach that matches investments to ethical values to one that considers the impact of long-term changes in the business environment on companies and their share price. Thanks to their long-term horizon and asset size, pension funds are one of the main drivers of socially responsible investments.

A survey conducted by Allianz Global Investors and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) among pension experts in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom on the future of socially responsible investment in pension fund portfolios showed the following results: On average, most of the pension experts surveyed believe that, in the future, SRI criteria will play an increasingly important role in how pension funds make investment decisions. While French and Dutch pension analysts were very optimistic, their British counterparts were quite pessimistic. The majority of experts surveyed believe the SRI approach will be extended to include asset classes other than equities. Again, the French and Dutch participants were the most optimistic. Apart from Germany, most experts are expecting pension funds to become more active owners. Environmental criteria are considered to be the most important element of the SRI concept. Respondents agreed that the growing SRI trend is being driven much less by the expectation of higher returns or lower risk as it is by public pressure.

Keywords: Pension Funds, Sustainability, SRI, ESG, Socially Responsible Investment, Long-Term Investment, Retirement, Investment Performance, Reserve Funds, Positive Screening, Negative Screening

JEL Classification: G15, J26, O16, 057, G23, M14

Suggested Citation

Boersch, Alexander, 'Doing Good by Investing Well' - Pension Funds and Socially Responsible Investment: Results of an Expert Survey (January 15, 2010). Allianz Global Investors International Pension Paper No. 1/2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1607730 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1607730

Alexander Boersch (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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