For immediate release: 29 March 2004
Fund managers' engagement growing
Fund managers in the UK are increasingly engaging with the companies in which they invest according to a survey of members of the Investment Management Association.
The survey assessed progress in implementing the principles for engagement set out in the Institutional Shareholders' Committee's Statement of Principles on the Responsibilities of Institutional Shareholders and Agents issued in October 2002.
The main findings were that:
all 33 firms surveyed interact with and monitor companies on an ongoing basis;
all of the firms had policy statements on how they discharge their responsibilities;
engagement is largely integrated within the investment process;
the majority of firms had a policy to vote all their UK shares and would not automatically support the Board;
many firms sought to influence companies by means other than voting, for example through meetings with management and directors;
the majority of firms surveyed report to their clients quarterly on how they are discharging their responsibilities.
Richard Saunders, Chief Executive of the IMA, said:
"The results clearly show that shareholder activism is here to stay. The emerging picture is one of systematic and transparent engagement that is integrated into the investment process. We expect the transparency and quality of this engagement to go on rising. The crucial thing now is to maintain and enhance the dialogue between investors and the companies in which they invest."
For further information please contact:
Richard Saunders, Chief Executive, IMA, 020 7831 0898
Helen Stephenson, Communications Officer, IMA, 020 7831 0898
Liz Murrall, Senior Adviser - Corporate Governance, IMA, 020 7831 0898
Out of hours contact:
Mona Patel, Head of Communications, IMA, 07834 089332
Notes to Editors:
1. The survey was carried out in the second quarter of 2003, the period during which most company annual general meetings are held. As of 30 June 2003, the value of UK equities managed within the UK by the 33 firms surveyed totalled £480 billion, about 53 per cent of the estimated £897 billion under management at that date. The full version of the survey is attached.
2. The Investment Management Association (IMA) is the trade body for the UK investment management industry. It was formed in February 2002 as a result of a merger between the Fund Managers' Association (FMA) and the Association of Unit Trusts and Investment Funds (AUTIF). IMA's members provide investment management services to institutions (for example, life assurance companies, pension funds, and individual companies) and to private investors, through individual fund management agreements and pooled products such as authorised investment funds. Between them, IMA's members manage over £2,000 billion worth of assets. More information can be found on www.investmentuk.org
3. The Institutional Shareholders' Committee consists of representatives from the Association of British Insurers, Investment Management Association, National Association of Pension Funds and Association of Investment Trust Companies.