If any fund manager deserves an award for trying to change the world, or at least start a real debate, it must be Hermes.
The fund manager, owned by the BT pension scheme, the UK’s biggest, today co-hosted a conference with the lengthy title: Creating sustainable wealth through responsible asset management and ownership.
Last week, it handed out awards for transparency in governance, in collaboration with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA).
Lord Myners: criticism
Various fund managers have owned up to being a bit pathetic when it came to challenging powerful banking figures. They have been roundly castigated by the likes of Lord Myners and Hector Sants for their failure to act as responsible owners, and cannot expect to escape notice in Sir David Walker’s review of corporate governance in the banking industry when that is published later this week.
No doubt they could and should have been a bit less accommodating of banks’ plans for world domination, but in the end there is limit to the sanction they can apply. Passive trackers, which probably hold the biggest stakes, cannot threaten to sell, and active managers rarely hold large enough stakes to make selling much of an issue for a company.