LGIM to use vote to put pressure on firms to take climate change action

LGIM climate change

Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) will be using its shareholder vote at company AGMs to put pressure on companies to take action to respond to climate change and demonstrate they are taking measures to move to a low carbon economy.… Read the rest

MPs call for toughening up of UK corporate governance rules

Iain Wright MP BEIS Select Committe

Directors should be required to take their corporate governance and legal duties more seriously the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee believes. The committee’s report on corporate governance was published this week.

While the MPs state that there is no need for a radical overhaul of corporate governance in the UK, “We do believe that there is scope for significant improvements in order to address the changing nature of company ownership in a globalised economy.”

Iain Wright MP, Chair of the BEIS select committee, said: “The UK corporate governance system is recognised throughout the world as of high quality.Read the rest

Boards need to work to rebuild trust in business

business trust Ecoda

Encouraging responsible leadership by company boards so that businesses contribute to wider society was the theme of the recent discussion organised by the European Confederation of Directors’ Associations (ecoDa) and Standard Life Investments. This was building on a vision of the role of business begun by the World Economic Forum.… Read the rest

OECD: Guidance for institutional investors launched

OECD Corporate Governance Principles

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published its paper, Responsible Business Conduct for Institutional Investors, which explains how they can apply the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

The paper was launched online by the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) which is leading a project to support investors to adhere to the OECD guidelines.… Read the rest

New stewardship guidance for DB schemes

The Pensions Regulator DB guidance

The UK’s Pensions Regulator, TPR, has issued new investment guidance for defined benefit pension schemes including  expanded duties on stewardship, sustainability, ESG and voting issues.

The guidance follows the common principles set out in TPR’s DC investment guidance together with some specific considerations relevant to defined benefit schemes.… Read the rest

Do investors need more ESG experts?

France vigilance law

Yes, says UK-based environmental think tank, E3G, which also believes global investors to rapidly increase their environmental, social and governance (ESG) capacity and to train all staff to be aware of ESG issues. According to E3G’s research, a third of the investor signatories to the Principles for Responsible for Investment (PRI) do not employ any ESG specialists and that a further 20% employ only one such expert.… Read the rest

US investors secure climate risk commitment from BlackRock

US responsible investment investors have secured a greater commitment from asset management giant BlackRock that it will be engaging with its investee companies on climate risk. The group hopes that this could also mean BlackRock supports some climate change shareholder resolutions during the 2017 proxy voting season.… Read the rest

Responsible investment disclosures: mind the European gap

Responsible Investment disclosure quality varies greatly

Despite being signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment, the RI disclosures of Europe’s largest asset managers are extremely varied in quality, according to new research by advocacy group, ShareAction.

ShareAction rated the disclosures of 40 leading fund managers which collectively invest over €21 trillion (£18 trillion) on behalf of pension schemes, charities, universities, and individuals across the world. … Read the rest

Purposeful Company Task Force: Corporate governance reform could boost UK economy

UK corporate governance

The UK’s Purposeful Company Task force, set up by the Big Innovation Centre, has called for major changes in corporate governance, asset management and backed the Financial Reporting Council’s proposal for company’s to report on how directors are having regard to stakeholders as required under company law.… Read the rest

Italian shareholder association formed to protect investors

Italian shareholder association formed

An Italian shareholder association has been formed to protect the group minority, with a particular focus on listed small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The Italian Association for the Exercise of Shareholders’ Rights, AIEDA, has been set up by a group of professionals, managers and entrepreneurs with the aim of promoting good corporate governance and facilitating dialogue between listed companies directors and minority shareholders as well as the exercise of their rights.… Read the rest

USA: Investor Stewardship Group launches Codes

Investor Stewardship Group

The US has moved a step closer to a national stewardship and governance code with the launch of the Investor Stewardship Group. The signatories and supporters of the $17 trillion group are now urging all institutional investors to join the framework.… Read the rest

Stewardship Code & Governance updates: India, Nigeria

Stewardship code India: insurers published

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has published a draft stewardship code for insurers in their role as institutional investors managing funds on behalf of policyholders.

The IRDAI said: “Considering the fiduciary role played by the insurance companies as investors on behalf of the policyholders, it is felt that greater transparency is needed as regards the manner in which the investments are managed by them.Read the rest