CCLA Investment Management, the UK’s largest charity investment manager, along with 16 other long-term institutional investors with £3.2trn of assets under management and advisory with investments across UK-listed equities, have reached out to 100 of the UK’s largest listed employers to enquire about the support being provided to their lowest-paid workers during the cost-of-living crisis.

The investors involved – which include Aviva Investors, Brunel Pension Partnership, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Legal & General Investment Management and Trust for London – have written a joint investment statement asking employers to:

  • prioritise providing support for the lowest paid employees including uplifting pay and the provision of one-off cost of living support;
  • consider meeting the new real living wage rates;
  • work in good faith with workers and unions to reach agreements on pay claims and avoid potential disruption;
  • proactively engage with third-party contractors to ensure support is being provided for staff working on the company’s premises;
  • be cognisant of pricing of key goods and services upon which people are reliant.

Peter Hugh smith, CCLA chief executive officer, said: “The scale of the cost-of-living crisis in the UK is unprecedented and with no end in sight. Millions of working people are facing a very hard winter and UK businesses should be vigilant in ensuring that their lowest paid are protected through the winter months. The idea that there are employed people who do not earn enough to support themselves, to eat healthily and have a safe and warm environment in which to live, is morally wrong and financially unsustainable.”

He added that although there are several pressures on companies, “it is absolutely imperative that they do more to support their lowest-paid workers”.

The initial outreach by CCLA, together with the Church Investors Group, was completed in September and has to date produced 58 responses from the 100 companies which received letters. Of these responses 10 are ‘holding’ responses and 48 responses are substantive.

Workplace pension provider B&CE to change name to People’s Partnership

B&CE, provider of The People’s Pension, is to change its name to People’s Partnership, it has been announced at the organisation’s 80th anniversary event yesterday.

As it began by providing holiday stamps to the construction industry during the Second World War, today, it provides a range of straightforward financial products, including The People’s Pension, which has more than six million members.

With assets under management currently more than £17bn and serving more than 100,000 employers across the UK, it has grown to become one of the biggest pension schemes in the country, it said.

Explaining the name change at a launch event last night, chief executive officer Patrick Heath-Lay said it reflected the fact the organisation now serves people in every sector across the UK.

“We have always been the people’s partner. Founded for social good, as a not-for-profit – or profit for people – organisation, our customers, our members, are always our main focus. And whatever we do, that will never change,” he said.

He added: “This isn’t just a name change. For a company that has gone about its business fairly quietly in the past, this is a statement of intent. We want everyone to understand why and how we do what we do and to continue to be different in financial services.”

Gulf International Bank Pension Scheme picks Aon for advice

The Gulf International Bank (UK) Limited Pension Scheme has appointed Aon to provide investment advisory services.

Aon was named following a competitive tender process by the £150m scheme, which has around 500 members. The consultancy will be providing integrated, expert investment advice, including journey planning, to help the scheme trustees make better, more-informed decisions, it was announced.

Guy Stokely, chair of the investment sub-committee at the scherme, said: “The Gulf scheme was seeking wider flexibility in its investment approach and was looking for an adviser who could support us with the last leg of our pension scheme journey. The Aon team offers an integrated approach, combining both consulting expertise and fund solution-led fiduciary management, thereby giving us the experience and flexibility we will need in the coming years.” 

Roger Mattingly, independent trustee director for Ross Trustees Services Limited and chair of the scheme’s trustee board, said: “After a comprehensive review process, we are very pleased with the appointment of Aon to expertly guide the trustee board through the next stage of the scheme’s financial management.”

Hatty Goodwin, senior investment consultant at Aon, said her firm can offer the scheme the “widest set of options on how it manages its future investment strategy and navigates new forms of volatility”.

She added: ”This will involve integrating our specialist consulting advice and journey planning expertise, with a portfolio full of our best investment ideas through Aon’s fund solutions and a delegated investment approach.”

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