UK - The Trades Union Congress has welcomed moves by fund managers to open their voting records to scrutiny from pension scheme trustees.
The TUC published its second annual survey of fund managers’ voting records and processes and said that unlike last year – when 60% of firms failed to respond – the investment industry was starting to open up to trustees.
This time, half of the 30 fund managers the TUC contacted refused to respond. The list of firms that refused to co-operate includes Credit Suisse Asset Management, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management and UBS.
The TUC has used its trustee network to obtain information on the managers that failed to respond, as well as others outside of the survey.The survey, which is being distributed to over 1000 trustees, is part of a TUC campaign for greater accountability and transparency in the way fund managers exercise their “ownership” of employees’ rights.
It believes that without full public disclosure of voting records, trustees cannot make informed decisions about how fund managers use their voting rights until after an appointment has been made. It also feels consultants cannot accurately gauge how seriously fund managers take corporate governance.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber welcomed the improved survey results.
He added: “The investment industry is starting to open up to trustees. The idea that fund managers are threatened by the requirement to be open about how they act on the investments of scheme members has all but disappeared.”
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