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This whitepaper captures the discussion from a roundtable, convened by Helen Pradas-Page on 3 March 2020, under Chatham House rules, where we asked the question ‘How Can Successful Stewardship be Meaningfully Reported?'

We want to share the insightful exchange of this lively debate by our guests, a group of leading figures from across the capital market ecosystem; pension fund trustees and executives, investment consultants, asset managers, civil society leaders and regulators (FRC and FCA). The debate centred around the new UK Stewardship Code 2020 which is key to how investment can bring about a more sustainable future to benefit the economy and wider society.

Featuring full regulatory context around the questions we explored, the aim of this paper is to provide contribute to cross-industry conversations that encourage firms to share experiences and build capabilities right across the institutional investment community.

As the world moves beyond the first stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, stewardship has an even greater role to play.

Featuring commentary from:

  • Will Martindale - PRI

    Will Martindale

    Director of Policy & Research

    PRI

  • Catherine Howarth - ShareAction

    Catherine Howarth

    CEO

    ShareAction

  • Helen Pradas-Page

    Helen Pradas-Page

    Head of ESG & Responsible Investment

    Acre

Acre’s roundtable in early March brought together experienced actors across the capital markets ecosystem: pension fund trustees and executives, investment consultants, asset managers, company directors, civil society leaders and regulators. 

For stewardship to fully deliver its potential benefits, all these parties need to show greater leadership but also greater willingness to listen to each other’s perspectives. The roundtable event modelled this. No-one can make a decisive difference alone; together, these inter-connected actors can move us from a financial system too often characterised by short-termism and mistrust to a system enabling sustainable wealth creation where financial value is generated whilst respecting the interests of employees, suppliers, and communities and whilst limiting climate change and protecting the biosphere.

This is the model of economic growth and development that the world now needs.

Catherine Howarth, CEO - ShareAction

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    What is the purpose of stewardship?

    This paper asks who is responsible for stewardship, how that fits into the investment chain, and who is accountable for stewardship being sufficient and effective?

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    What are the stewardship outcomes being sought?

    We also ask how there can be greater clarity to asset managers about what asset owners want, what stewardship outcomes are being sought, and what the challenges are to defining outcomes.

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    How can stewardship outcomes be realised, measured and reported?

    We explore this topic in great detail with a full range of perspectives from asset owners, asset managers, investment consultants, civil society leaders and regulators. Plus insights from AXA Investment Management, Aon and Impax Asset Management.

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    What are the barriers to stewardship?

    Following an informative overview of the barriers outlined by the FCA and FRC, we ask our panel what their own barriers and challenges are surrounding stewardship, including costs and benchmarking, and give practical takeaways on what we can do individually and collectively to overcome those challenges.

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How can successful stewardship be meaningfully reported?