UK - Asset management firm Morley Fund Management said today that Steve Waygood has been appointed to the newly created post of head of socially responsible investment (SRI) engagement.

Joining from early November, Waygood, now a director in Insight Investment's investor responsibility team, will implement Morley's SRI engagement and voting programme. Also he will "work with the corporate governance team to coordinate all environmental, social and governance voting", the company said.

The firm's chief investment officer Katherine Garrett-Cox said she sees Waygood's appointment as "tangible evidence" for Morley's commitment to bolstering its SRI business, with £900m(€1.3bn) in active SRI equity and bond mandates.

"More institutional investors are asking for universally accepted SRI principles to be used when managing their portfolios," she commented, adding that these investors "want us to not only maximise profit but also to ensure the long term sustainability of the portfolio and the companies we invest in."

Waygood, since April chair of the UK Social Investment Forum which promotes SRI among UK investors, previously worked for Friends Ivory and Sime (now F&C) as a senior analyst in the governance and SRI team.

IPE already reported the recent rise in high-profile moves at UK asset management firms. Yesterday, for instance, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership announced the appointment of Rod Davidson; last week, Barclays Global Investors' research unit expanded its team with 10 academics and experts.

Insight Investment has not appointed anyone yet to replace Waygood. "We are considering our options," a spokesman for the company said.

The move comes amid the Insight investor responsibility team's new focus on equity and bonds. "IR specialists are to look at long term drivers in equity and bonds, considering for instance environmental, social and governmental factors," though Waygood's move had nothing to do with this, the spokesman added.