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Morley fills new head of UK activism role

UK- Morley Fund Management, the UK-based asset management arm of Aviva, has announced the promotion of Ross Courtier to the newly-created position head of UK Activism.

Courtier will work with the boards of companies on strategic and financial issues. Courtier is one of Morley’s longest serving UK fund managers and works closely with Anita Skipper, head of corporate governance, in maintaining contact with quoted companies.

In the new role, Courtier reports to Mike Bishop, head of pan European equities. Morley says the ultimate aim of the exercise is to improve company performance and therefore produce better returns.

Commenting on the new position, chief investment officer Gerald Holtham says: "the creation of the role of head of UK activism recognises a long standing engagement function and formalises an important dimension of the Morley investment process.

"We already have a highly experienced corporate governance team and the addition of Ross Courtier makes Morley one of the leading UK fund managers in the corporate governance and activism arena."

In 2001 Morley became the first fund manager to include a requirement for large UK companies to publish environmental reports in its voting policy.

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