UK pensions group welcomes voting rights taskforce

votingThe Association of Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT) has hailed the establishment of a government-appointed taskforce to improve the voting process for UK pension schemes as a “huge step forward”.

The taskforce was announced by the minister for pensions and inclusion, Guy Opperman, who said it would investigate the barriers preventing client voting policies from being implemented by fund managers in pooled pension funds.

The taskforce will be chaired by Simon Howard, executive officer at the Department for Work and Pensions.

The creation of such a body was one of the main recommendations from the AMNT’s recently released report 'Bringing Shareholder Voting into the 21st Century and its Red Lines Voting Campaign' to give pension fund trustees more visibility into stewardship, especially those whose investments are part of pooled funds.

“The current situation, where trustees are disenfranchised as fund managers ignore their wishes and frequently take weak or contrary positions cannot continue. It is not right, it is not fair and it is in conflict with the regulatory requirements placed upon trustees,” said AMNT co-chair Janice Turner.

“We believe that the barriers presented by fund managers to split voting in pooled funds are not insurmountable and we are confident that by working together on the taskforce we should be able to reach a more equitable position for all," added Turner. 

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