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Media

2015

10 March 2015: Unprecedented UK investor action to reform financial services by setting new standards for fund managers

2014

25 March 2014: Public want action from pension funds on tax and wage levels 

In the media

Active Share Ownership: adding environmental and business value – Environment Industry Magazine

2 May 2014

By Lisa Stonestreet

Recently investors across the UK celebrated Ownership Day, an initiative dedicated to encouraging investors to be ‘active owners’ of the companies they invest in.

Active ownership is a win:win for investors. There is clear evidence that it encourages more long-term sustainable behaviour by companies, and that this in turn leads to better value and improved long-term returns for investors.  Long-term strategic sustainable issues facing companies are now being recognised in the investment community as they look beyond the purely financial.  There is a growing realisation that environmental, social and governance issues (“ESG”) are central strategic concerns as the world faces wide-ranging  threats linked to climate and the environmental limits and associated social change. Increased emphasis on active share ownership with its focus on the long-term and non-financial factors are now supporting and encouraging companies to tackle these strategic sustainability issues.

Read the full article here.

Investment consultants ‘must do more on ESG and sustainability’ – Professional Pensions

26 March 2014

By Naomi Rainey

Investment consultants must support pension scheme trustees in targeting environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, Association of Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT) founding co-chairman Barry Parr says.

Speaking at the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) Ownership Day Parliamentary Reception, Parr said more work should be done by consultancy firms with regards to sustainability and long-term investment.

Read the full article here.

Ownership Day: age of ‘invisible investors’ passing – Blue&Green Tomorrow

25 March 2014

By Charlotte Malone

Pension funds have been urged to “lead from the front” and hold companies to account. To mark the second annual Ownership Day, institutional investors are being encouraged to be more ‘active owners’ and use shareholder power to make companies more sustainable.

A poll commissioned by the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), which co-ordinates Ownership Day, found that 48% of British adult believe institutional investors should have stewardship responsibility in the companies they invest in.

Read the full article here.

Active ownership: investing as ‘responsible stewards, not absentee landlords – Blue&Green Tomorrow

25 March 2014

By Alex Blackburne

There was a time when investors at both an institutional and retail level would be almost entirely disconnected from what their assets were doing. The norm was to invest, sit back and collect the (hopefully healthy) dividend each quarter.

In the last decade, though, things have changed. A new wave of responsible investors are now engaging with companies they invest in, on issues as varied as tax, remuneration, human rights and environmental sustainability. Why? Because they acknowledge that investment value is increased by the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

Read the full article here.

ShareAction launches tool for pension scheme members to ‘have their say on pay’

25 March 2014

By Naomi Rainey

ShareAction has launched a campaign to allow pension scheme members to contact funds with concerns over pay policies in the businesses they invest in… Its launch follows YouGov research, released ahead of UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association’s (UKSIF) Ownership Day (25 March), which highlighted public concerns over pay equality and tax in the companies their pension funds hold.

Read full article here.

Active Ownership Can Help Rebuild Public Trust in Savings – The Huffington Post

24 March 2014

By Simon Howard

This week investors across the UK will mark Ownership Day – an initiative dedicated to encouraging investors to be ‘active owners’ of the companies they invest in.

What does being an active owner mean? Anyone with pension savings, stocks and shares ISAs, a unit trust or other investments is technically a part-owner of the companies those savings are invested in. Active ownership means that a fund doesn’t just invest in the likes of BP, Barclays and Vodafone then takes a ‘back seat’, but instead that it takes responsibility to use its shareholder power and make its voice heard on those issues that can improve the long-term value of the company.

Read the full article here.

Ownership Day: Why we all need to take an interest in our pension fund – Bright Blue

24 March 2014

By Caroline Escott

‘With auto-enrolment, the rise of defined contribution (DC) schemes, and George Osborne’s announcement a few days ago that “no-one will have to buy an annuity”, the rate of change in the (dry, jargon-filled but important) pensions arena over the last few years has been mind-boggling…

I’m not the only one worrying about what kind of pension I’m going to retire on and George Osborne clearly thinks that trying to allay public concerns on pensions is a vote winner – at least with the 60+ years demographic.  This is why our government should be doing everything it can to encourage ‘active’ asset ownership, and why, despite the off-putting jargon, we should all be making sure our pension funds protect the value of our savings by becoming active owners.’

Read the full blog here.

More than half of Brits want pension funds to hold companies to account on tax – Professional Pensions

21 March 2014

By Naomi Rainey

Read the full article here (£).

Budget 2014: investors say shelving low-carbon policies would be ‘reckless’ – Blue&Green Tomorrow

18 March 2014

By Alex Blackburne

The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) said the chancellor must avoid bowing to pressure from groups that were calling for social and environmental policies to be shelved. It described such demands as “short-termist, shortsighted and reckless”…

UKSIF’s head of government relations Caroline Escott said, “Investors in the UK want to see a budget which promotes a stable, coherent policy framework on climate change, resource security and other environmental issues as called for not only by UKSIF and its members but also by the environmental audit committee in its recent report on green finance.”…

Escott added, “George Osborne needs to provide a budget for the long-term which introduces a range of policies including boosting the Green Investment Bank’s borrowing powers and setting a 2030 decarbonisation target. Otherwise the value of the public’s pensions and savings may be put at risk.”

UKSIF’s bold warnings to the chancellor come ahead of its second annual Ownership Day on March 25, which encourages pension funds and other asset managers to engage with investee companies on issues like climate change….

Read the full article here.

Industry split on fiduciary duty legislation – Professional Pensions

30 January 2014

By Naomi Rainey

‘Recent questions about the role of fiduciary duty in pension fund investment has been widely welcomed but the industry is yet to agree on the answers…

The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) calls on the Law Commission to change the fiduciary duty laws “as they currently hinder pension fund trustees from taking long-term investment decisions”.’

Read the full article here (£).

UKSIF: current fiduciary laws leave investment trustees ‘confused’ – Blue and Green Tomorrow

23 January 2014

By Charlotte Malone

The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) has urged the Law Commission to clarify fiduciary duty in order to promote long-term sustainable investment.

The comments come after the Law Commission’s consultation on the fiduciary duties of investment intermediaries, which closed yesterday, following the Kay review that called for longer-term thinking in the investment world. Part of what the commission is looking into is how far trustees should consider non-financial factors when making investment decisions.

Simon Howard, chief executive of UKSIF – the trade body for the sustainable investment industry – said, “UKSIF, in common with many in the investment community, believes that long-term investment approaches by pension funds, asset management, consultants and other intermediaries are vital to protect and grow the value of people’s savings and pensions.”

Read the full article here.

Government reveals details of social investment tax relief – Blue and Green Tomorrow

11 December 2013

By Charlotte Malone

“The government has revealed details of the social investment tax relief, which aims to encourage investors to consider the social impact of their investments as well as the financial returns…

Head of government relations Caroline Escott said, “Social investments and social enterprises have a vital part to play in supporting the move towards a more sustainable economy, with business models that provide not only a financial return to investors but also support local communities.”

Read more here.


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