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UK investor forum launches, names chairman and director

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  • City of London

The UK’s Investor Forum has appointed the current chairman of the Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust as its inaugural chairman, tasked with finalising the body’s constitution.

Simon Fraser, who worked at Fidelity Worldwide Investment for the majority of his career and was its CIO until 2008, will now coordinate the forum’s launch and assemble its board alongside executive director Andy Griffiths.

Launched with the backing of the National Association of Pension Funds, the Association of British Insurers and Investment Management Association – soon to be rebranded as the Investment Association – the forum was one of the key recommendations to come out of the 2012 Kay Review and aims to promote the value of long-term investment by allowing institutional investors to engage with investee companies.

Griffiths and Fraser’s appointments come as the forum is officially launched, leaving the pair to appoint board members and finalise its constitution and operating model.

Fraser said it was “imperative” that all investors took a long-term interest in companies to which they were exposed.

“The Investor Forum will help facilitate better engagement between UK public companies and their shareholders to support long-term value creation opportunities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Griffiths, who has worked at Capital Group and Corsair Capital, said the forum’s principles would be “rooted in the value creation for investors”.

Report author John Kay added that the launch of the forum was “central” to his review, and that he was delighted to see the launch come about.

“Asset managers working together can make a real contribution to improving the performance of British business,” he said.

The forum aims to hold its first meetings in September and will offer both domestic and overseas investors the opportunity to come together in engagement groups to bring about change when a “critical mass of support” of participants is in place.

James Anderson, who chaired the working group tasked with launching the forum, previously told IPE it “desperately” needed the involvement of overseas investors if it wished to succeed and later called on the Government Pension Fund Global to be a “beacon in the darkness”, and to be one of the sovereign wealth funds joining the forum.

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