Fondo Pensione a contribuzione definita del Gruppo Intesa Sanpaolo, the pension fund for the employees of the Intesa Sanpaolo bank, will refrain from pursuing an engagement policy this year as part of its investment strategy, and as a shareholder of companies listed on regulated European markets, it announced.

The dialogue with investee companies, the possible exercise of voting rights, and other rights linked to equity investments, as well as the collaboration with other shareholders, and communication with the relevant stakeholders of investee companies, if carried out, will be of an “occasional nature”, and not yet integrated into the fund’s defined strategic plans, it said.

The scheme lacks a strong, internal organisational structure for engagement. It has assessed the impact of its vote at annual general meetings (AGMs) of listed companies it owns on the European market, coming to the conclusion that it is necessary to reorganise its in-house structure for engagement activities.

This will come with additional costs to members which will be proportional to the marginal impact of its vote and the number of AGMs, it added. It also considers the possibility of joining collective engagement platforms, looking at improving its own policy of voting.

Asset class diversification means that so far voting rights on equity investments have been “systematically fragmented”, and the impact of the pension fund in decisions taken at AGMs is “very relative”, as is its weight in the dialogue with the companies, the fund noted.

However, the scheme verifies on a periodic basis the impact of its voting rights during AGMs of listed companies, with a view to take a more active role, monitoring asset managers’ engagement and on the exercise of voting rights, it added.

The pension fund has joined the UN Principles for Responsible Investment network, and Climate Action 100+, laying out guidelines on stainable investments, and looking to apply the IORP II Directive intended to encourage schemes to adopt a strategic and long-term approach on ESG, it said.

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