FRC to name pension funds, asset managers failing Stewardship Code

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Pension funds and asset managers will soon be assessed and rated on their level of engagement with the UK’s Stewardship Code, in an effort by the regulator to boost commitment among signatories.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said it would divide signatories into two tiers – those meeting reporting expectations and those failing to do so.

Under the plans for public tiering, which the FRC said would be in place from July 2016, asset managers will be asked to provide evidence on how they have complied with the code.

“The FRC will look particularly at conflicts-of-interest disclosures, evidence of engagement and approach to resourcing and integration of stewardship,” the regulator said.

Winfried Bischoff, chairman of the FRC, said the code had helped raised the profile of stewardship since it was first launched in 2010, leading to improvements in the “quality and quantity” of engagement.

“We wish to maintain momentum by ensuring that signing up to the Stewardship Code is a true marker of commitment,” he added.

More than 80 asset owners are signatories to the Stewardship Code, a list of names largely comprising UK pension funds and charitable foundations, such as the Wellcome Trust but also including the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Sweden’s AP1.

The code, which operates on a comply-or-explain basis, has been emulated in several other jurisdictions.

The International Corporate Governance Network recently confirmed it was working on a global version

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