EITI Supporting Investors now managing an estimated US$16trn in total assets
In December 2007 over 80 institutional investors signed the Investors' Statement on Transparency in the Extractives Sector, declaring their support for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and its principles of improving governance and transparency in the extractives sector. Investors made their case for supporting the EITI stating:
"As institutional investors with exposure to companies operating around the world, we believe it is in the interest of the companies in which we invest to operate in a business environment that is characterised by stability, transparency and respect for the rule of law. These factors are essential to securing economic prosperity and social cohesion, which, in turn, enable the companies in which we invest to prosper. However, they are frequently undermined by poor standards of governance and transparency, which can give rise to corrupt operating environments."
The expansion of socially responsible investment funds in recent years has continued to boost the role investors are playing in improving governance practices within companies. This has been noted by governments hoping to attract increase quality foreign direct investment to their extractive sectors.
In 2007, institutional investors supporting the EITI had over US$12trn in assets under management and by early 2009 this figure had grown to an estimated US$16trn. Given this, it appears likely that the principles of socially responsible investment will play an increasingly important role in how business is being conducted in the extractives sector for a long time to come.
The EITI Institutional Investor Group is represented on the international EITI Board by Julie McDowell, Head of SRI, Standard Life Investments, and David Diamond, Co-Head of SRI Development, Allianz Global Investors France.