Corporate governance and proxy voting agency Manifest is to launch a full SRI support service to its UK institutional clients at the end of this month.
The SRI service will include reports which will monitor the environmental, social and ethical risks on every company in the FTSE All-Share index.
Manifest’s SRI research manager Adam Rose said: “The SRI support service is a full research and engagement service for the financial community. There is a strong link between a company’s environmental and corporate governance stance and its share performance.”
The green card and the sustainability reports complete the SRI research service at Manifest. The green card report monitors corporate and environmental governance issues and provides its institutional clients with a breakdown of each company’s:
• Management responsibility.• Risk control mechanisms.• Regulation and legal action.• Financial provisions.• Stakeholder engagement.
The sustainability report covers social issues and monitors each company’s stance on:
• Community issues.• Equal opportunity criteria.• Race relations.• Health and safety issues.• Child labour.
Previously, Manifest only issued green card reports for the FTSE 350 companies. It is now due to complete both reports for the All-Share index, a first for the corporate governance agency.
Rose admitted that the link between good sustainability governance and share performance are nowhere near as well proven as the link with good environmental governance. However, Manifest agreed to implement the sustainability reports as a direct response to its clients call for more in depth research on social issues.
Rose said: “Environmental governance issues are seen as an extension of good corporate governance. Last year our clients found the green card report a very useful tool to work with in terms of making investment decisions and talking to companies.”
He added: “It is a fund manager tool developed by fund managers at their request and is a market-led initiative. Its main objective is to find out where the risk is in each company and to track their approach to and level of SRI investment. It is also to raise awareness and the issues that SRI is involved with which are gaining big bottom line effects.”
Manifest conducted research to find out what social, ethical and environmental issues pension funds considered to be most important.It emerged that pension funds wanted equal opportunity criteria to be monitored as well as the company’s community involvement and labour rights policies.
Rose said: “As a result of that detailed company research, we can now conduct sector research and trend comparisons.”Manifest’s clients consist of institutional investors and includes pension funds in both the private and local government sector.
Manifest also represents the £26bn Coal Industry Pension Schemes.
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