DISCUSSION Ownership Day – a UKSIF initiative

by Luke Robinson _______24th March 2014

Ownership Day is a UK Sustainable Investment and Finance (UKSIF) initiative encouraging institutional investors such as pension funds to be more ‘active owners’ and to sign up to frameworks such as the UK Stewardship Code. This year it will be held on 25th March 2014.

Active ownership has become an important part of sound financial management, helping to build more sustainable long-term value to the benefit of the UK economy and UK pensions fund beneficiaries. Over £800 billion of assets are now invested this way in the UK.

“The age when it was the norm for pension and other funds to be ‘invisible investors’ who simply sat back and waited as their assets were managed is passing. If we are to rebuild public trust in savings then we need all major funds in the UK to act as responsible stewards, not absentee landlords. They need to use the information and advice available to them to set the tone for how their funds are managed, and our research shows this is what the public wants.” said Simon Howard, Chief Executive of UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF).

A public survey conducted by YouGov for Ownership Day found that:

“Government funds in particular are failing to deliver. Currently only 21 out of 100 individual local authority pension funds have signed up to the Stewardship Code, and it’s time that such public funds led from the front.”

“All investors should be instructing their managers to use their influence on the companies they invest in to ensure long term value isn’t damaged by short-term behaviours such as extreme tax avoidance, unbalanced remuneration or damage to the environment.”

“As a first step we call on all funds to sign up to the Stewardship Code or to incorporate the Code’s expectations within their Statement of Investment Principles,” added Howard.

You can find out more about Ownership Day at www.ownershipday.co.uk.

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