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History

  • 1986

    PIRC is created by shareholders for shareholders. Established by a group of public sector pension funds as a company limited by guarantee. PIRC’s services were based on the requirements of pension funds and driven by a strong relationship with the founding shareowners.


  • Late 1980s

    PIRC’s first services are company research on corporate social responsibility issues (focused on South Africa, environmental concerns and other social investment issues), investment strategy advice (including economic development initiatives in the venture capital field), trustee training and education.


  • 1988

    Following legal changes affecting local authority pension funds and in order to become registered as an investment adviser, PIRC adopts a private company structure with the share capital owned by the executive directors and a board of non-executives drawn from the founding pension funds and public figures


  • 1991

    PIRC launches the UK’s first corporate governance service following the establishment of the Cadbury Committee on corporate governance in 1991 and emerging concern over governance issues in the USA and UK. The service provides company specific research on the governance structures and AGM agendas of the FTSE 100 companies


  • 1992

    PIRC’s submission to Cadbury Committee calls for a number of key reforms, including the separation of Chairman and CEO, shareholder votes on political donations and executive pay and independent remuneration and audit committees.


  • Early 1990s

    PIRC becomes a public advocate for good governance and social responsibility in addition to its role as a service provider. PIRC is frequently at the head of campaigns to seek reform at leading companies. PIRC’s pioneering shareholder engagement on behalf of clients results in a high profile in the media, something that continues today.


  • 1995

    PIRC in collaboration with the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) files a shareholder resolution at British Gas seeking fuller disclosure and better standards from the company in respect of executive remuneration.


  • Mid 1990s

    PIRC expands its company research from just the FTSE100 to the FTSE200 (1993), FTSE250 (1994), FTSE350 (1996) and ultimately the FTSE AllShare Index (1998).


  • 1997

    PIRC works with both the LAPFF and the Ecumenical Council on Corporate Responsibility to file a resolution at Shell’s AGM, which seeks to address environmental and human rights concerns, particularly in relation to the company’s operations in Nigeria.


  • Late 1990s

    PIRC plays a significant role in shifting the debate on responsible investment (RI) from disinvestment strategies to shareowner engagement. PIRC argues for annual election of directors in numerous consultation responses. During this period PIRC is also a founder member of UK Sustainable Investment and Finance (UKSIF).


  • 2002

    The UK introduces a shareholder vote on executive remuneration, and a requirement for shareholder approval of corporate political donations, both reforms advocated by PIRC since the 1990s.


  • 2003

    With a steady growth in funds seeking advice on RI issues, PIRC becomes an early advocate of bringing together governance and social and environmental issues. To help our shareowner clients achieve this, the ground-breaking GovernancePlus service is launched in 2003, for the first time tying shareowner voting recommendations to an analysis of social and environmental issues.


  • Mid 2000s

    As clients shift their portfolios to have a much greater overseas exposure, PIRC provides research and advice to them on governance and social responsibility issues in new markets. PIRC’s governance service goes fully global in 2007.


  • 2009

    PIRC assists LAPFF in filing a shareholder resolution at Marks & Spencer seeking the division of the chair and chief executive role at the company. The resolution receives almost 40 per cent support at the AGM vote and the company subsequently splits the roles.


  • 2009

    In response to the financial crisis, PIRC issues a ‘manifesto’ which calls for reforms such as formal duties for shareholders in relation to the companies they own, clarification of fiduciary duties, and a shareholder vote on audit committee reports.


  • 2010

    The revised UK Corporate Governance Code recommends annual election of directors of FTSE350 companies, a long-standing PIRC proposal. The Stewardship Code for institutional investors is published by the FRC, formalising the ownership responsibilities of shareholders. PIRC publishes a set of ‘best practice principles’ for proxy advisers, to promote high standards and accountability in the sector.


  • 2012

    The ‘shareholder spring’ in the UK sees PIRC regularly in the headlines. The Kay Review of equity markets advocates a legal review of fiduciary duty in the investment chain


  • 2013

    The Competition Commission advocates a shareholder vote on audit committee reports, along with other reforms, in its review of the market for audit services.