EUROPE - Eurosif, the European Social Investment Forum, is to pilot the introduction of transparency guidelines for SRI funds in the retail sector this month, in a move which its says could herald similar initiatives for the institutional sector.

Speaking at the European Socially Responsible Investing Congress in Stockholm today, Matt Christensen, executive director at Paris-based Eurosif, said the guidelines would enable asset managers to say how they create and select an SRI fund.

"A person who wants to buy into a fund would then have an understanding of what exactly it is. It won't be about the quality of the find , it will be about the transparency."

Christensen suggested that this method could provide a framework that would pre-empt any legislation from the European Union in this area. This was endorsed by Garry Topp, associate director of Henderson Global Investors, who suggested that the European Commission was likely to draft a directive on SRI within the next three to five years.

Christensen also said Eurosif would be publishing a report in the autumn that would assess the size of the global institutional SRI market, something which has been difficult to gauge to date.