Responsible Investment Management of Endowments (PRIME)
Most foundations have a charter aimed at improving the state of the world in which we live. The single most important resource to achieve this goal is through financial donations, or the income generated from endowments. The reputation risk of endowments being associated with speculative or unethical business practices, or investments that are in contrast with a foundation’s objective, has increasingly been an agenda item of foundation boards. In this project the PRIME Toolkit has been developed to help foundations manage their endowments in a socially responsible way.
The aim of this project in which Ecologic participated was to conduct a survey among European and some international foundations to map the current practices of investing and managing the foundation's endowments, and to build the PRIME Toolkit. This PRIME Toolkit aims at helping foundation officers, directors and trustees better understand and integrate Responsible Investment practices (often called Socially Responsible Investment or SRI) into mandates they give to asset managers entrusted with the management of their endowments. It aims to supply readers with a resource to assist them as these factors become increasingly relevant to good asset management and the expectations of the public and relevant stakeholders. The PRIME Toolkit will serve not only endowed foundations, but also mainstream financial service providers interested in responsible investement.