Saturday, 13 September 2008

Pension funds acting like owners?

There's a very upbeat asssessment of of the state of shareholder engagement by pension funds in the NAPF's latest survey. I have to say it doesn't quite tally with either other research or my own experience. The headline findings are below, full report is on the NAPF site.

Board Membership: 74% of pension funds had seen changes to board membership as a result of their engagement activities - up from 67% in 2007.
Company strategy: 69% saw changes to company strategy - up from 57% in 2007
Remuneration Policy: 79% of respondents saw changes to remuneration policy - up from 74% in 2007
Social/Environmental policy: 68% of funds reported making an impact on social/environmental policy - up from 51% in 2007

..........

Statement of Principles: A majority of pension funds’ Statements of Investment Principles refer to the ISC Principles3 (45%) or expect to do so in the next two years (34%). One third (33%) of respondents said that the Principles had been incorporated into their contracts with all investment managers, either directly or by side letter. Eight out of the ten largest funds that responded said that they had incorporated them for either all managers or some managers.

Reports and disclosure: Over three-quarters (77%) of respondents receive one report per manager per quarter and 60% receive reports on other engagement activities.

A majority (54%) of pension funds disclosed their general policy on voting and 24% reported some disclosure of voting specifics.

Responsible Investment and corporate governance policy: Two-thirds of pension funds said that Corporate Social Responsibility influences the selection of investment managers and consultants now (32%) or expect it to in the future (34%). 72% of funds have their own policies governing responsible investment. The time and money spent by funds on CSR has increased with 83% saying they spend more time and money than they did when the ISC Principles were introduced in 2001.

Impact of engagement: Pension funds are increasingly seeing the impact of their engagement activities on the companies in which they invest.

2 comments:

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