A forum for buy-side firms has been launched by the Collective Engagement Working Group, which has received backing from several of the UK’s institutional investor trade bodies.
The Investor Forum, chaired by James Anderson, partner at asset manager Ballie Gifford, is open to both UK and overseas investors and will seek to identify how institutional investors can work together to improve their engagement with listed companies and improve performance to deliver better returns to end investors.
UK trade associations the Investment Management Association, Association of British Insurers and National Association of Pension funds set up the working group in response to the Kay Review of equity markets and long-term decision-making.
The forum will seek to be inclusive and provide opportunities for a broad range of buy-side firms to contribute and have a positive influence on listed firms’ long-term performance.
The working group has called on institutional investors and the companies they invest in to seek a change of culture, which will lead to sustainable wealth creation. It has also asked major listed firms to hold annual strategy meetings for institutional investors outside of their normal results cycle, with less focus on short-term financial figures.
Commenting on the forum’s launch, Anderson said: “The Investor Forum that we have announced today will drive cultural change and act as a mechanism for investors to work together more effectively when there are issues at particular companies that have not been resolved by conventional engagement.”
He said it was vital for investors to be consistently engaged with listed companies, instead of the largely apathetic attitude that has prevailed in the past.