ESG Archive

Feb 18, 2019
Investor Forum welcomes new stewardship code consultation
The UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) consultation on a new stewardship code mostly hits the right notes, according to institutional investor organization the Investor Forum.   Andy Griffiths, executive director at the Investor Forum, tells IR Magazine: ‘The proposed revision of the code is very much welcomed given both the appetite among asset owners and the increasing focus of asset managers on stewardship activities. Importantly, our members ch...
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Feb 15, 2019
Investors put focus on board diversity for 2019 proxy season
More than half (53 percent) of investors say board diversity is top of mind going into the coming proxy season, according to the 2019 Proxy Season Preview report from the EY Center for Board Matters. The survey of more than 60 institutional investors, with assets under management of $32 tn, shows investors are increasingly focused on board composition. This year’s figure of 53 percent saying the issue should be a top board focus is up from a third three years ago....
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Feb 14, 2019
Earnings calls increasingly mention plastic waste
Investors are looking deeper into company ESG performance, with MSCI suggesting that firms’ use of plastic is coming under greater scrutiny.  The mention of plastic waste in earnings calls increased by 340 percent in 2018, compared with the previous year, according to MSCI research. The index provider predicts that 2019 will see many organizations forced to deal with the reality that their investors view excessive use of plastic as a business risk. The dis...
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Feb 13, 2019
UK companies could learn from US on CEO pay
UK companies have an opportunity to learn from US counterparts on CEO pay ratios, according to a leading US compensation consultancy. This comes since the introduction of new rules in the UK after similar rules were introduced in the US by the SEC last year.   Marc Hodak, a partner at US-based executive compensation consultancy Farient Advisors, ...
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Feb 12, 2019
Investors want more ESG information from companies
Institutional Investors continue to want more information from companies about board composition and business strategy and how these relate to ESG issues, according to Morrow Sodali’s annual Institutional Investor Survey. Summing up the survey’s findings, Morrow Sodali chairman John Wilcox tells IR Magazine that not only must companies meet governance and compensation best practice standards set by proxy advisers but they must also focus on four areas....
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Feb 11, 2019
How to respond to the ESG spotlight
Evidence of the link between investment returns and companies’ ESG commitments is mounting exponentially, showing that ESG should no longer be viewed as a fad and fueling scrutiny from asset managers. With this in mind, Curley Global IR (CGIR) in 2018 conducted research into ESG-related issues such as sustainability definitions, materiality and disclosure, issuer engagement and perspectives on current best practices. CGIR’s data derives from detailed discussions...
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Feb 08, 2019
FTSE Russell launches ESG-focused index
HSBC has signed a license agreement to launch FTSE Russell’s new ESG-focused index, in response to growing demand. The FTSE UK 100 ESG Select Index, designed to help investors incorporate ESG objectives into their passive investments, will form part of the bank’s portfolio of ESG-focused equity products. It uses rules-based ESG ratings and data models to select companies for inclusion. According to FTSE Russell, the ESG ratings and data models contain mor...
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Feb 04, 2019
Only two financial groups in top 20 LGBT-friendly employers list
Lloyds Banking Group and Citi are the only two financial firms to make it into the top 20 of the Top 100 Employers compiled by UK LGBT campaign group Stonewall, coming seventh and ninth, respectively.   Throughout the full list, which comprises companies that provide an LGBT-inclusive environment, there is a sparse grouping of financial organizations: Barclays is 28th, ratings firm Moody’s 44th, Bank of America Merrill Lynch 50th, Credit Suisse 64th and UK regul...
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Jan 31, 2019
MSCI: Investors don’t have to hold companies ‘they can’t influence’
Companies could suffer from significant shareholder rebellion this year, as index provider MSCI says investors will begin to raise questions on transparency before a scandal hits. Matt Moscardi, MSCI’s executive director and co-author of its outlook report – ‘2019 ESG trends to watch’ – tells IR Magazine that corporate leadership will come under extra scrutiny this year as institutional investors look to take action around their shareholder rights...
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Jan 30, 2019
Diversity no boost to performance at asset management firms
Firms owned by women and minorities manage just 1.3 percent of assets in the $69 tn asset management industry, though their performance is not statistically different from the industry as a whole. These are the findings in a new study – Diversifying investments: A study of ownership diversity and performance in the asset management industry – from the US-based Bella Research Group and the Miami-based non-profit John S and James L Knight Foundation. The re...
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