Research

Investor Stewardship - One hand on the wheel

April 16, 2019

By Stephen Miles

Q — What investment activity, when done well, means improved outcomes for everyone: better returns for investors, better run companies, better controlled societal and environmental footprints – all while being cost-effective?

A — Stewardship, where asset managers or asset owners engage and vote to positively influence assets they invest in.

In 2009, referring to the global financial crisis, Lord Myners suggested institutional investors were “asleep at the wheel” when it came to stewardship.

In 2009, referring to the global financial crisis, Lord Myners suggested institutional investors were “asleep at the wheel” when it came to stewardship. Perhaps it is now fair to say investors have one hand on the wheel, at least amongst some of the biggest asset managers and asset owners.

This paper is based on our research of six large asset managers emphasising index tracking who collectively manage assets in excess of US$ 17 trillion: BlackRock, Legal & General Investment Management, Northern Trust Asset Management, State Street Global Advisors, UBS Asset Management and Vanguard.