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Insight reveals statistics behind engagement

June 2003

Insight Investment has begun publishing quarterly updates of its engagement activities with companies on social and environmental issues.

The first such report shows Insight, the investment arm of HBOS managing £68billion ($110bn), engaged with 22 per cent of companies in the FTSE All Share Index during the first quarter, or 87 per cent of the index by value. Insight holds shares in 83 per cent of the companies in the index.

Insight, which moved into the socially responsible investment sphere in November 2002, says the decision to publish statistics on engagement is part of a move to be as transparent as possible.

However, Craig Mackenzie, head of Insight’s SRI team, said only the bare statistics, plus an outline of subjects discussed, would be released at this stage. ‘If we are too public too early, companies might decide they don’t want to talk to us any more,’ he said. ‘In time, we might move to even fuller disclosure.’

In the first quarter, Insight raised supply chain management issues with BT, Dixons, Kingfisher, Marks & Spencer, Signet, Tesco and Vodafone, among other companies. The fund manager engaged with Anglo American, BP, Rio Tinto and Shell on revenue transparency, and with Aventis and GlaxoSmithKline on the accessibility of medicines in developing countries.

A full engagement report will be available only to Insight’s pension fund clients. An edited version on the web includes details of conversations with British American Tobacco over its presence in Burma, and with BP on its operations in Alaska.




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