UK - Hermes is the latest institution to sign up to the Railtrack Shareholders Action Group (RSAG), which is heightening its campaign against the government.
RSAG has received support from over 35pc of Railtrack’s shareholders, as well as thousands of private investors. It currently consists of 16 institutional shareholders which include Henderson Global Investors, Jupiter Asset Management and JP Morgan Asset Management.
The members of the group are fighting to ensure that all shareholders receive their fair compensation after the government’s decision to put Railtrack into administration.
Hermes chief executive Alastair Ross Goobey said: “Throughout our involvement in the RSAG we intend to endure that shareholders are treated fairly. This is not about greed but about protecting the interests of the present and future pensioners of the funds we are responsible for investing.”
The campaign is led by Simon Haslam of Fidelity and the group has set up a website – www.railtrackactiongroup.-co.uk – to drum up support from private shareholders. It wants to hear from Railtrack’s 250,000 individual shareholders and those whose pension funds and investment funds have been affected.
The members will share the cost of paying for the legal services provided by Allen & Overy. The firm will explore the shareholders’ legal position and whether the government’s decision to put Railtrack into administration was a legitimate action.
RSAG has written to the secretary of state for transport Stephen Byers asking him to “recognise his obligation to shareholders and accepts the need for compensation”.
Hermes is a stand-alone pension fund manager and is wholly-owned by the £29bn BT Pension Scheme. It is the primary investment manager for both the BT and Consignia pension funds and also invests funds for both J. Sainsbury and Railpen pension funds.
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