UK - The £7.5bn (€11.1bn) BBC Pension Scheme has joined the British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme and Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP as clients of Hermes' equity ownership service.

Hermes Pensions Management, the asset manager owned by the BT Pension Scheme, said the broadcaster has tapped the Hermes Equity Ownership Service. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"We are delighted to be appointed by the BBC. It is a great endorsement of our services," Colin Melvin, chief executive of Hermes EOS told IPE.
The service comprises a voting service, including communication with all companies where management recommendations are voted against, and a broader engagement service which encourages change within companies to increase long-term shareholder value.

"Before appointing Hermes, the voting and engagement was carried out by our fund managers on our behalf. Following a review, we decided to appoint one organisation to take on the responsibility of voting and engagement. After looking at a number of companies, the decision was taken to appoint Hermes," a BBC spokesperson said.

Melvin said that "pressure on the pension funds" means that companies turn to turn to pension managers like Hermes for help.

"They recognise that by behaving as responsible owners they can raise the value of their portfolios."