UK - UK institutional investors have raised the benchmark for corporate governance but standards of pension fund activism still "vary", an international conference heard.
West Midlands Pension Fund treasurer Brian Bailey (pictured) – speaking at the International Corporate Governance Network conference in Rio de Janeiro – welcomed the “gathering momentum” of international shareholder activism.
The conference – attended by 600 representatives from institutional investors, multinationals and pension funds from around the world – heard how in the past 12 months the US had raised its standards towards those set by the UK.
Bailey said institutions such as Hermes Pensions Management, Morley Fund Management and Henderson Global Investors had been “instrumental” in raising standards on their clients’ behalf with a proactive approach.
But he claimed it was difficult to measure the extent of individual pension fund involvement.
He said: “There has been a clear move to more activism, but in terms of voting at AGMs there seems to have been no significant rise.
“Public sector schemes – especially members of the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum – do tend to be more open but the input of other schemes is difficult to gauge.”
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