Janice Turner, Co-chair of the Association of Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT), has warmly welcomed the announcement by Guy Opperman, Minister for Pensions and Inclusion, that a Taskforce will be established to investigate the barriers preventing client voting policies from being implemented by fund managers in pooled funds.
This was the main recommendation in AMNT’s recent published report Bringing Shareholder Voting into the 21st Century and the formation of the Taskforce marks a substantial success for the AMNTs continuing Red Lines Voting Campaign.
“The establishment of the Taskforce is a huge step forward and I am proud that AMNT's Red Line Voting Campaign helped to alert the Minister to the problem” said Turner. “The appointment of Simon Howard as Chair and Sarah Wilson as Vice-chair demonstrates just how seriously the Minister wants to see a resolution to the current situation.
“The Taskforce has been asked to recommend ‘regulatory and non-regulatory measures’ to solve this issue, so it will have real teeth.
“The current situation, where Trustees are disenfranchised as fund managers ignore their wishes and frequently take weak or contrary positions cannot continue. It is not right, it is not fair and it is in conflict with the regulatory requirements placed upon trustees.
“We believe that the barriers presented by fund managers to split voting in pooled funds are not insurmountable and we are confident that by working together on the Taskforce we should be able to reach a more equitable position for all."
The Association of Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT) is a not-for-profit company set up by and for member-nominated trustees, directors and employee representatives of UK-based occupational pension schemes in the private and public sector. Set up in 2010, the AMNT has nearly 800 trustees in its membership, and together these have represented pension schemes with assets under management of about £900-billion.
The Association is dedicated to providing those member nominated trustees with support, which underpins their critical role in ensuring that their pension scheme is governed in the best interests of the scheme members in consultation with their sponsors. The AMNT will enable trustees to build their skills and knowledge, voice their opinions, share best practice, become part of a like-minded community and be better recognised for the good and important work they do.
The AMNT introduced a new approach to responsible investing, Red Line Voting, which enables pension scheme trustees to play a proper stewardship role with regard to the companies in which they invest, including pension schemes investing via pooled funds meet their fiduciary duties in line with the recent guidance from The Pensions Regulator and the Law Commission. It does this by providing pension schemes with a comprehensive set of environmental, social and governance (ESG) voting policies at “best practice” level. For more details, please refer to: http://redlinevoting.org/what-is-red-line-voting/
Campaign Manager for Red Line Voting, AMNT firstname.lastname@example.org