EUROPE - Mercer has launched a service to help trustees and other institutional investors meet their stewardship requirements.
The Stewardship Service will provide a tool to help investors check whether their asset managers are compliant with the UK stewardship code, the EFAMA Code for External Governance and the Eumedion Best Practices for Engaged Share-Ownership.
It will also help investors benchmark their own investment policies against the codes' principles and support trustees implement effective stewardship.
Mercer head of responsible investment for Europe Will Oulton said trustees needed to take environmental, social and governance issues seriously.
He said: "There is a growing view among academics and investment professionals that ESG issues affect the short and long-term performance of institutional investment portfolios.
"It is the duty of trustees to act in the best long-term interests of their beneficiaries and we believe that effective stewardship can be an important element in both protecting and enhancing long-term shareholder value.
"Our Stewardship Service aims to make it simple for trustees to understand and define their stewardship responsibilities and to provide them with easy-to-use tools to assist in the selection and ongoing monitoring of their asset managers."
National Association of Pension Funds head of corporate governance David Paterson (pictured) said pension funds could raise standards of governance in the investment industry through effective stewardship.
He commented: "The NAPF is a strong supporter of the Stewardship Code and therefore welcomes this initiative from Mercer.
"By committing to the code and holding their managers to account for their stewardship, pension funds can help raise standards of governance in the investment industry as well as at the companies in their investment portfolios.
"To do this effectively they need tools such as the new service from Mercer."