Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


fund managers fail transparency test

December 2007

Three-quarters of the largest UK fund managers fail to disclose publicly any SRI policies, even though many have them.

A survey by the FairPensions group found that of the top 20 largest managers of pension funds and other assets held in the UK, only five disclosed their policies on social and environmental issues. Goldman Sachs and State Street were ranked last, and others among the least transparent were Barclays Global Investors and Scottish Widows. Top performers included F&C, Hermes, Insight, and Morley, which were judged to ‘demonstrate a high degree of transparency and a concrete commitment to engagement on responsible investment’.

The 20 investment managers handle a total of £7trillion (£3.4tn) for institutional clients.

Alex van der Velden, executive director of FairPensions, said the findings showed that fund managers often ignored their industry body’s recommendations by not having a publicly available engagement policy.

‘Many are failing to meet the best practice codes set up by their own industry, such as the Statement of Principles of the Institutional Shareholders’ Committee,’ he said.

‘There has been little voluntary voting disclosure, which strengthens the argument for the UK government to exercise its reserve power under the Companies Act to make voting disclosure mandatory,’ he added.

FairPensions is a campaigning group founded in 2005 by Amnesty International, People & Planet, WWF and other pressure groups.

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