Fund managers, European MPs, institutional investors and others gathered in Brussels this week to celebrate the virtues of responsible investment and brainstorm ways the government and industry could effectively act in its promotion.
But in sideline interviews and panel discussions delegates expressed concern European policymakers would create a prescriptive set of rules encouraging responsible investment, as opposed to a more favourable “principle-based” approach.
We take RI seriously, not because it sounds good or looks good, or because we’re told to, but because it makes business sense
“Things like ‘Responsible Investment’ or ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ are still ambiguous terms, you can’t easily legislate around something like that,” said one GP delegate.
The European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, alongside networking group CSR Europe, hosted its “Responsible Investment Summit” at a time when the European Commission is considering a package of reforms designed to push businesses and financial institutions towards long-term sustainable investment.
As part of that multi-year initiative, the European Commission said it intends to develop a rule requiring fund managers to disclose and report their policies and action around responsible investment.
“We take responsible investment seriously, not because it sounds good or looks good, or because we’re told to, but because it makes business sense,” said EVCA chairman Karsten Langer during a keynote speech.
The concerns don't end there. Be sure to check out next week’s Monday Monitor where we’ll explore the challenges around mandatory RI disclosure reports fund managers might face.