First Reserve adopts UN responsible investment guidelines

The firm has become the first energy-focused private equity investor to sign up to the ESG principles.

Energy-focused private equity house First Reserve has adopted the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

Greenwich, Connecticut-based First Reserve said in a statement that it is the first energy-specialised private equity firm to sign up for the principles, which incorporate a set of best investment practices spanning environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. The firm has also been made a member of the PRI’s private equity steering committee.

First Reserve joins the handful of private equity firms that have so far adopted the principles, as the asset class lags behind the listed equities space in signing up to the PRIs. Some of the other PE firms to adhere to the principles, launched in 2006, include Abraaj Capital, Actis, AXA Private Equity, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, MVision Private Equity Advisers, Pantheon and Partners Group. The Private Equity Council, a US lobbying group representing around a dozen of the largest private equity firms, developed its own voluntary ESG code in Februrary.

First Reserve recently closed its First Reserve Fund XII, a $9 billion vehicle that represents the largest buyout fund raised to date in the energy sector.

Last month First Reserve invested $500 million for a 99 percent stake in KrisEnergy, a newly-established oil and gas company in Singapore that is aiming to develop a portfolio of exploration, development and production assets across Southeast Asia.