Thursday, 15 March 2007

Who are the mystery 16 managers who disclose their voting?

Ed Balls gave another speech today, this time to the NAPF investment conference. In it he again talked about the disclosure of shareholder voting records by institutional investors. It's unquestionably a good thing that he has raised this issue twice in a few days. The fact that the pressure for disclosure is coming from the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, rather than a DTI official (the reserve power to mandate disclosure is in the Companies Act, which is DTI territory) gives it a lot more momentum.

But who is feeding him the line that 16 managers disclose their voting records?

I applaud the progress made by institutional investors in voluntary disclosure of voting. In 2003 only 2 institutions disclosed how they voted their shares. In a group of the largest firms, that figure is now 16 out of a possible 33, and represents 42% of managed UK equities. But there is clearly a long way to go before all savers can know how the ownership rights of shares - bought with their money - are exercised.

It sounds like it might be data taken from the IMA's annual survey engagement survey. But it's a very misleading claim. Here's a list of the fund managers that I'm aware of who do disclose useful info, and it's a bit less than 16!

F&C (can't find their record!)
Standard Life
CIS (the real pioneers of disclosure)

If anyone knows any others do let me know.

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