Share page with AddThis

News

UK pensions body welcomes BlackRock move on proxy voting

VotingA group representing UK pension fund trustees has welcomed the recent announcement by asset manager BlackRock to allow institutional clients in pooled funds to vote directly in annual meetings as “a major milestone in stewardship for institutional investors”.

The inability of asset managers to allow investors within a pooled fund to vote directly at annual meetings and other corporate actions via proxy voting has long been a frustration for pension funds and other institutional investors.

Inadequate technology and the sheer number of intermediaries involved in the proxy voting process have typically been cited as the reasons for the lack of action. However, a number of new services have launched in the last 12 months aiming to remedy the process, some of which were highlighted in a recent article in the latest FundsTech report.

The decision by BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, to allow its largest pension fund and institutional clients to vote at annual meetings will take effect from 2022 and will apply to nearly half of the $4.8 trillion of index equity assets it currently holds.

According to the UK’s Association of Member Nominated Trustees, the move is a “game changer”.

Its co-chair Janice Turner said: “AMNT has been campaigning for nearly a decade for pension schemes investing in pooled funds to be able to have a voting policy that is respected by their fund managers. 

"Now that BlackRock, and DWS which launched a fund with AMX earlier this year, have shown that this is possible we call on the rest of the fund management industry to follow their lead," added Turner.

BlackRock’s move comes in the wake of a report issued by the UK’s Task Force on Pension Scheme Voting Implementation that called for pension funds within pooled funds to have their voices heard on voting issues and not delegated to their asset managers.

Taskforce member and head of pension investments at Scottish Widows, Maria Nazarova-Doyle, said it is “incredibly important for asset owners like us to have a voice when it comes to voting in pooled funds.”

© 2021 fundsTech

Most read features

Roundtable: The digital transformation opportunity

The funds industry is looking at adopting new types of technology, from automation to ESG reporting, blockchain and tokenisation. A FundsTech roundtable in March explored how these will revolutionise the sector.

Regulation: Panel calls for simplicity in ESG reporting

The industry accepts the need for more rigour in ESG fund reporting, but the work will be pointless if investors don’t understand the end result. Nicholas Pratt reports.

Tokenisation: The incredible potential of tokenisation

Tokenisation offers a new generation of investors access to a wide range of asset classes. But a lack of analysts is one reason why the market may not be ready for the possibilities, finds Nicholas Pratt.

Cryptocurrencies: Crypto funds face long wait for regulatory approval

While crypto currencies forge onwards, access for investors who prefer to invest through regulated vehicles remains muted. A wait-and-see stance by regulators lies at the centre of this, finds Nicholas Pratt.

Artificial Intelligence: For explainable AI, look in the white box

The rise in AI investing parallels A growing need to understand how computers make decisions, writes Lynn Strongin Dodds.

Sponsored Profiles

The importance of trust when building successful client-vendor teams

Petra Roche and Anna Kanior-FlorekFundTech speaks to Metrosoft’s Petra Roche and Anna Kanior-Florek about cross-organisational relationships and why mutual trust...

The digitally connected Global Transfer Agent

Anand Ramachandran, Vice President, Global Head of Solutions, Richard Clarkson, Head of Solutions, Funds and Swapnil Joshi, Senior Strategy Manager from Oracle Financial Services Global...

Data consolidation takes centre stage in asset management M&A

MergersConsolidation between asset management firms is overwhelmingly expected to increase. Operational challenges remain thanks to legacy systems. But in a recent...

Are you being microserved?

As asset managers grapple with new digital technology, FundsTech talks to Calastone’s Adam Belding about the importance of software architecture and the benefits...