UK – The pension fund of the Unison trade union has appointed Morley Fund Management to run a 100 million-pound (142 million-euro) socially responsible investment mandate.

Unison is the public sector union and is the largest trade union in the UK.

The fund will be invested in global equities. It will be managed by Clare Brook, director of SRI and Peter Michaelis, SRI fund manager. The objective is to outperform a composite benchmark by 1.5% per year over rolling three-year periods.

Morley says it is the largest SRI pension fund mandate in the UK, and points to increased interest in the philosophy. Says Paul Moody, head of SRI business development at Morley: "The fact that this is the largest SRI pension fund mandate awarded in the UK demonstrates that there is a growth in the support for socially responsible investing as a way to balance good returns with good corporate responsibility."

The decision to invest in an SRI portfolio was made as the trustees felt that investment policy need not clash with the values of the trade union. Morley was chosen as it “presented an investment philosophy which fits well with Unison’s value,” said Paul Coard, pensions manager at the union.

Morley’s SRI team manages over 450 million pounds (642 million euros). Morley Fund Management manages a total of 112 billion pounds in assets.