New Institutional Investor Council for UK?

The prospect of a new Stewardship Code appears to have re-ignited fresh enthusiasm for collaborative governance with the Institutional Shareholders Committee (ISC) announcing its intention to form a new body, to be called the Institutional Investor Council. The grand aim of the ISC creating the IIC is to “build a single voice for the institutional investor community and strengthen its profile”.

Until membership is confirmed, the ISC’s Consultative Committee will assume responsibility for the objectives of the IIC, chaired by Standard Life’s Keith Skeoch. In the mean time, the ISC is to be working on the governance of the new “senior body”, establishing  a Nominations Committee which will decide on membership and the Chair.

Once established, the IIC will have as its main tasks working with the FRC in promoting the Stewardship Code, facilitation of collective engagement projects and the lending of  expert eyes and ears to the authorities in policy-making. Top of the agenda is likely to be to investigate fees on rights issues, an investigation to be chaired by Douglas Ferrans, chairman of the IMA.

It’s not yet clear as to what the IIC membership is likely to be, nor how their constituencies are to extend beyond existing ISC participants to encompass the institutional investor community at large, which will be necessary to facilitate effective collaborative engagement which combines a multitude of strengths to which to play. We are, however, sure the FRC will welcome any industry support for its Stewardship Code, especially when such support is endorsed by the influential trade associations amongst the ISC.

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