GERMANY – Hermes, the asset manager owned by the BT Pension Scheme, has written to German carmaker Volkswagen seeking an investigation over its corporate governance practices.

The move sees Hermes’ new chief executive Mark Anson taking on Europe’s corporate titans as he did as chief investment officer at US pension giant CalPERS.

A Hermes spokeswoman confirmed a Financial Times report saying the fund manager had written to the Wolfsburg-based manufacturer, although she declined to comment further.

The FT said Hermes is demanding an investigation into the agreement that led to the appointment of Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking to VW's supervisory board.

The paper said that German managers DWS and Deka have already prepared motions for next week's VW annual general meeting criticising supervisory board chairman Ferdinand Piech.

Hermes is concerned Porsche acted in concert with the State of Lower Saxony – an 18% shareholder - to appoint Wiedeking.

Porsche became VW's biggest shareholder after Lower Saxony last year – they own more than 40% of VW’s shares the FT said.