Wilshire Associates Signs UN-Backed Principles For Responsible Investing

Aug 19 2016 | 7:15pm ET

Wilshire Associates has signed the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI), committing the firm to integrating environmental, social and governance considerations into investment practices, ownership policies, and business strategies.

Launched in 2006 and anchored on six key principles, the PRI encourages investors to use responsible investment to enhance returns and better manage risks. It engages with global policy makers but is not associated with any government, and is supported by, but is not part of, the United Nations. More than 1,500 global financial institutions have signed the PRI as of April 2016, representing more than $62 trillion in assets under management. 

Wilshire was an early advocate of responsible investing, and as a signatory to the PRI, will continue implementing ESG initiatives across the firm’s four business units, the company said on Wednesday. 

Wilshire Consulting, the firm’s institutional investment advisory and OCIO business, actively engages with institutional clients in drafting and integrating ESG investment policies into their portfolios, and helps institutions identify appropriate external managers with ESG-focused products. The unit recently announced the launch of Wilshire ClimateLens, a four-part program aimed at explaining the risks and opportunities associated with climate change.

Wilshire Private Markets, the firm’s global private market solutions provider, specializing in private equity and real asset investments, is increasingly evaluating ESG policies as part of its manager due diligence processes. 

Wilshire Funds Management, the firm’s global investment management business for financial intermediaries, and Wilshire Analytics, the firm’s foundational financial technology business that provides attribution, risk management, performance and reporting solutions, will also seek to develop ESG-driven solutions for the firm and its clients.

“We are proud to be a signatory of the United Nations-supported PRI, as we firmly believe in the value of incorporating ESG factors when evaluating investment opportunities as well as measuring portfolio risks,” said John Hindman, president of Wilshire Associates. “Across our firm, we are committed to extending our ESG capabilities to not only meet the growing demands of our clients, but for the better of our industry and, ultimately, our society.”

Wilshire will continue to build upon and introduce new ESG-focused initiatives, and work with its clients to integrate PRI’s principles into their investment strategies as appropriate, according to the company. Wilshire Associates also intends to work closely with the wide network of international signatories to achieve PRI’s mission of encouraging the financial industry to adopt and integrate ESG principles with the goal of developing a more sustainable global financial system. 

Wilshire is home to the Wilshire Liquid Alternative Index family, which measures the performance of diversified liquid alternative investment strategies implemented in mutual fund structures. 

Founded in 1972, the company is an independent investment consulting and services firm that provides plan sponsors, investment managers and financial intermediaries with a wide range of services. Its business units include Wilshire Analytics, Wilshire Consulting, Wilshire Funds Management and Wilshire Private Markets, and it is home to the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index. Based in Santa Monica, California, the firm provides services to clients in more than 20 countries representing more than 500 organizations with assets totaling more than $7 trillion.

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