GLOBAL - The four Swedish pension buffer funds from AP1 to AP4 and APG Asset Management are among a coalition of 20 institutional investors calling for firms to improve anti-corruption measures and disclosure.
All members of the coalition are signatories to the UN Principles of Responsible Investment (UN PRI) and they have contacted 21 companies from eight sectors, including defence, construction and capital goods, to request improvements in the disclosure of bribery and corruption risks and the avoidance measures in place.
The coalition of investors, which in total manage over $1.6trn (€1.2trn) of assets in nine countries, have asked the companies to explain whether their anti-corruption management systems comply with the international reporting frameworks developed by the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) and the UN Global Compact.
James Gifford, executive director of the UN PRI, said: "This collaboration among mainstream investors demonstrates the strong business case for fighting corruption. Corruption increases costs, risks a firm's reputation and can inhibit economic development. We need markets to hold businesses to account for corruption and that needs collective action by global investors."
Other members of the coalition include investment management firms, such as F&C Asset Management and Henderson Global Investors, pension funds and other investors, including the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), Hermes EOS, MN Services and Robeco.
George Dallas, director of corporate governance at F&C Asset Management, said: "As investors we believe that bribery and corruption are incompatible with good corporate governance and harmful to the creation of value."
"Therefore we expect the companies that we invest in to have robust programmes to manage corruption in their firm and supply chains, and to ensure those programmes measure up to respected international standards. The absence of such a programme or the failure to regularly monitor the management of these risks has the potential to create financial, operational and reputational risks."