This is an extremely important matter: insufficiently robust governance of companies has led to corporate errors and misjudgments that have cost them - and in turn the investors - billions in fines, compensation, slashed dividends and drop in shareprice. Our pensions schemes are among those that have lost out.
Until now, the ability to set an engagement and voting policy for your fund manager has generally been confined to the largest pension schemes. Small schemes and those that invest in pooled funds have faced the reluctance of fund managers to allow you to set a policy. Some have been told that your scheme is too small to have anything to do with responsible investment.
However, for the last two years AMNT has been developing a new initiative called red line voting that would enable trustee boards to play an active role in directing policy on corporate governance, social and environmental issues. And not before time: current reports indicate that legal action is being threatened against some pension schemes that are failing to address environmental risks associated with the companies in which they invest.
Joining us at our summer conference will be Saker Nusseibeh, Chief Executive Officer of Hermes and Faith Ward of The Environment Agency.