More pension funds engaging with stewardship

Pension funds are increasingly taking up their stewardship responsibilities, according to the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF).

The NAPF Annual Engagement Survey shows that seven out of ten respondents (71%) had taken the stewardship activities and policies of asset managers into account when selecting them, up from 48% in 2011.

And an overwhelming majority (90%) said they had reviewed their asset managers’ application of the stewardship policy.

The survey also reveals that pension funds exercised their votes more often and in an increasing number of jurisdictions, with 93% of them having cast their votes this year.

However, there is still some room for improvement, particularly among investment consultants.

The survey showed that investment consultants proactively raised the issue of stewardship with pension funds in only two out five cases, and when it was discussed, recommended signing up to the Stewardship Code in less than half of casses.

NAPF chief executive, Joanne Segars, comments: “As key intermediaries between pension funds and asset managers, investment consultants could do more to encourage the take-up of the Code by explaining its relevance to their pension fund clients.”

The Stewardship Code was launched by the Financial Reporting Council in 2010 to improve engagement between institutional investors and companies.

It has already been signed up by 57 asset owners, including many of the UK’s larger pension funds, and 189 asset managers.

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Category: Insurance News