The National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) has appointed The Co-operative Asset Management (TCAM) and Manifest to support its responsible investment strategy. In an innovative joint tender, TCAM and Manifest outlined an robust solution to manage and develop NEST’s evolving stewardship responsibilities.
TCAM, which currently has over £20 billion of assets under management, offers a distinctive responsible investment approach which fully integrates consideration of financial and ESG issues throughout the investment process. TCAM was the first UK investor to publish its voting record on its website in 2002. The RI team at TCAM will help NEST to formulate its voting and engagement policy and provide detailed guidance on engagement opportunities.
Manifest will support the implementation of NEST’s responsible ownership policies through its Governance Watch service which will monitor and analyse the global voting activities of NEST’s portfolio managers to understand how its voting policy has been implemented across all the funds. NEST will also use Manifest’s research and governance data to inform its wider engagement activities. Governance Watch covers the MSCI World Index constituents as a starting point but build coverage based on client requirements.
Commenting on the appointment, NEST Chief Investment Officer Mark Fawcett said: ‘The Co-operative Asset Management and Manifest will help NEST in developing and delivering an effective and dynamic responsible investment approach. Both organisations have excellent track records in their fields.‘NEST continues to deliver on its commitment to act as a responsible owner of assets on behalf of NEST members and aspires to a world class responsible investment approach. We believe responsible investment supports long-term value, reduces risk and supports better member outcomes.
“Manifest was a natural partner for us to work with on this project; said Ian Jones, TCAM’s Head of SRI and Business Development “their team has detailed technical knowledge of global governance policy issues as well as outstanding vote administration capabilities. Combined with their high levels of IT competence we felt this joint approach would give NEST the right combination of policy, engagement and management tools from the outset.”
The Manifest team is delighted to be working with TCAM and NEST to support its responsible ownership strategy. Since the launch of its investment beliefs in 2011, NEST has taken a pro-active role as an asset owner in monitoring its ownership activities and taking an integrated approach to investment from the outset will give the fund a distinct advantage in its stewardship role.
Subject to the success of the UK government’s auto-enrolment plans, NEST will become one of the world’s biggest pension schemes with an estimated 2m members by the end of 2016. Although AUM will be relatively small in the early stages, the asset base is expected to peak between £100bn ($161bn) and £300bn in the middle of the century.
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