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Code for Responsible Investing in South Africa (CRISA)

CRISA came into effect in February 2012 and gives guidance on how institutional investors should execute investment analysis and investment activities and exercise rights to promote sound governance. Its principles are aligned with those of the UN Principles for Responsible Investing (UNPRI), of which we are also a signatory.

While the application of CRISA is voluntary, institutional investors are expected to adopt the principles and practice recommendations in CRISA on an “apply or explain” basis. Disclosure is required at least once a year.

CRISA was drafted in response to the King 3 report

King 3 requires companies to apply the King principles or explain why they do not apply. The investment industry recognised that unless they engaged with corporates, King 3 would lose effect. Both King 3 and CRISA were drafted under the auspices of the Institute of Directors (IOD) and the Association of Savings and Investments in SA (ASISA), amongst others, gave input on CRISA. Both require institutional investors to take environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues seriously.

In signing the code, we commit to integrating its five principles into our investment process

  1. We will incorporate sustainability considerations, including ESG, into our investment process as part of delivering superior risk-adjusted returns to our investors.
  2. We will show that we accept ownership responsibility in our investment arrangements and investment activities.
  3. Where appropriate, we will consider a collaborative approach to promote the acceptance and implementation of CRISA’s principles as well as other codes and standards applicable to institutional investors.
  4. We will recognise circumstances and relationships that hold a potential for conflicts of interest and will proactively manage these when they occur.
  5. We will be transparent about our policy content, how we implement the policies, and how we apply CRISA to enable stakeholders to make informed assessments.

UN Principles for Responsible Investing (UNPRI)

By 2016, 10 years after inception, over 1 500 investment institutions, with assets under management of US$ 62 trillion had signed up to the UNPRI. Sanlam was the first South African private sector asset owner to become a signatory.

In signing up to the UNPRI, we committed to the following:

  • We will incorporate ESG issues into our investment analysis and decision-making processes.
  • We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
  • We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
  • We will promote acceptance and implementation of the UNPRI principles within the investment industry.
  • We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the UNPRI principles.
  • We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the UNPRI principles.
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