Companies showing their support
| Support for Red Line Voting
We are proud to have the support for Red Line Voting from the following companies, organisations and others.
Steven Robinson, Head of Trustee & Corporate Consulting for JLT Employee Benefits, said: ‘There is huge benefit in Trustees being more actively engaged and any initiative that encourages smaller schemes and other investors to take a more active role in the businesses in which they invest has to be a good thing.’
CDP fully encourages pension funds to adopt the Red Line Voting initiative. The initiative provides an unprecedented opportunity for pension funds to engage on vital ESG issues with the companies in which they hold shares. Engagement is the most effective way of changing company behaviour, and investors have a vital stewardship role to play.
The Environment Agency Pension Fund supports the Red Line Voting Initiative, as we believe it is vital for good stewardship to thrive in the UK that schemes, particularly those which are resource constrained, are able to steer voting on issues they feel will protect shareholder returns and make businesses more sustainable. Although our own voting and engagement activity addresses many of the issues outlined in the Red Line Voting document, we will use it to inform the review of our own policies and commend it as a useful tool for trustees.
The Environment Agency Pension Fund
Red Line Voting provides an easy way for investors to ensure that the companies in which their funds are invested address basic Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks. We have been delighted to provide grant funding in support of this important initiative, as part of our commitment to increasing corporate accountability to shareholders and wider society.
Nick Perks, Trust Secretary – Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
Responsible investment forms a key part of our manager research and selection process, which means we have a preference for managers who demonstrate that they are exercising voting rights in clients’ long term interests.
“We are therefore supportive of the Red Line Voting initiative as a way of making it easier for our clients to implement an effective voting policy and improving the quality of debate in this area.
Paul Gibney, LCP Partner – Lane Clark and Peacock LLP
In facilitating the direction of voting decisions on the management of environmental, social and governance factors, the AMNT’s “Red Lines” voting initiative gives the asset owner community a new and effective opportunity to make its voice heard. RPMI Railpen Investments supports the main aim of the initiative, and welcomes particularly the flexibility for asset owners to select which of the ‘lines’ to apply consistent with their investment beliefs. Whilst RPMI Railpen votes directly on behalf of their Trustees, we commend the “Red Lines” voting initiative to asset owners without the resources or capacity to vote themselves as it is a pragmatic way for their views to be acted upon by their intermediaries on voting decisions.
RPMI Railpen Investments
Red Line Voting is a great tool for investors. Adopting Red Line Voting will give asset owners greater control over how their investments are managed, particularly in pooled funds, and will give asset managers the benefit of clear instructions on how to vote on behalf of their clients. The Red Lines help asset owners and managers to raise concerns about Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks with their investee companies through AGM voting. We hope to see significant progress on ESG risk-management as a result of Red Line Voting.
Catherine Howarth, Chief Executive – ShareAction
Stewardship by asset managers is important and deserves more attention than it gets. We very much welcome collaborative initiatives such as AMNT’s Red Line Voting which empower trustees to shine a light on this area and lead to more informed dialogue between asset managers and their clients.
Stephen Miles, Head of Research for EMEA – Towers Watson
Pension fund managers have an important role to play in promoting responsible business practices, but for too long, many have failed to engage. By identifying poor practices that should always be opposed, Red Lines enables asset managers to actively support sustainable and ethical businesses and the long-term interests of their clients.
Steve Kenzie, UN Global Compact Network UK – United Nations Global Compact
USS supports the rationale and the general thrust behind the Red Line Voting initiative which aims to ensure that schemes with limited resource have the ability to steer the voting which is usually undertaken on their behalf by external parties. Although our own voting and engagement activity addresses many of the issues outlined in the Red Line Voting document, we commend the initiative as a useful tool for trustees in the management of the way their votes are cast on the issues highlighted.
Universities Superannuation Scheme
The AMNT’s Red Lines voting instructions are a very practical example of how an asset owner can adopt a more assertive approach to ownership. WHEB welcomes this initiative and looks forward to working with AMNT members on their implementation.
Women on Boards UK is delighted that the Association of Member Nominated Trustees are doing something to ensure that the fund managers of UK’s pension fund assets take seriously the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) “Best Practice” governance guidelines. Currently it is not clear that the Asset Management Industry is regularly calling boards to account with regard to important issues such as the environment, talent equality, and corporate governance. Fiona Hathorn, Managing Director of Women on Boards UK, believes that pension fund managers need to ensure the survivability of the companies they invest in. The role of a board is clear, to govern on behalf of its stakeholders, and it is vital that a good proportion of the board is independent and that they follow the best governance practice as outlined by the FRC. Trustees have always found it hard to get their voices heard when investing in efficient pooled vehicles and consequently many fund managers have become lazy in their approach to challenging Chairs of Boards on governance issues. Fiona hopes that pension fund trustees across the UK will sign up to Red Line Voting to ensure that their fund managers are held to account as regards their investment and governance. As far as Fiona is concerned, transparency and the need for board independence has always been vital to ensuring the sustainability of our companies globally. After all, everything that is critical to business success, including access to the best talent irrespective of gender, should be measured, managed and reported to shareholders.
Women on Boards
“I’m pleased to hear that the Red Line Voting initiative is now taking shape. This is a great example of investors taking seriously their responsibility as stewards of the companies in which they invest, and coming together to agree standards of good corporate behaviour in relation to matters like executive pay.
“My hope is that the initiative will empower pension schemes and other investors, large and small, to adopt common voting positions on a range of governance issues where these are relevant to their long-term investment objectives. Pension schemes and the investment industry now need to come together to help ensure the proposals become a reality.”
Dr Vince Cable, Secretary of State
for Business Innovation and Skills
|Download the Red Lines here
To find out about Red Line Voting in more detail, please download our Trustee Pack. This includes the Red Lines, how to adopt them, Q&As and a presentation too.