Ownership Day 2015 – a £350 billion audience26 March 2015
Ownership Day – a way for every pension scheme member, ISA holder and institutional investor to use their ownership rights to target a rise in ESG standard and so reduce risk and improve returns.
Ownership Day 2015 – UKSIF held an event that brought together top asset owners, investment consultants, pension fund trustees and ESG professionals. Over £350 billion of pension assets were represented: clearly, concerns about ESG risk in valuations and expected returns are major issues for some of the largest asset managers in the UK. Visit the Ownership Day website.
EIA members – we collectively hold over £1 billion assets under management, much of which is in SRI funds. Every one of our clients has ownership rights, and we are their trusted advisers on investments. It’s easy for us or them to get started on the “engagement journey”. Download the Ownership Day 2015 Guide.
Three excellent sessions at the Ownership Day event covered practical issues and latest developments. First, a guide to engagement by a coalition of 14 pension schemes, with combined assets of £200 billion. Three of the guide’s authors spoke, and came from USS (the universities’ pension scheme), and the employer schemes of the Environment Agency and British Telecom.
This was followed by a panel sharing experiences of engaging directly with investee companies privately, at AGMs and (as a last resort), publicly. Questions and answers from investors starting the engagement journey, and from those with many years of experience, provided insights from many different angles.
To round off the event, the Association of Member-Nominated Trustees launched their Red Line Voting Initiative, a set of voting instructions on ESG issues for pension trustees to give to their fund managers.
There’s a long way to go, but the future is bright – the future is an investment industry oriented to long term returns, and high Environmental, Social and Governance standards in corporates worldwide. Download the Ownership Day 2015 Guide.
Tanya Pein, Co-Chair of the Ethical Investment Association
Investment specialist, advising charities and individuals, at In2 Consulting
(writing in a personal capacity)