News September 2021 FRC lists successful signatories to the UK Stewardship Code

FRC lists successful signatories to the UK Stewardship Code

06 September 2021
Today the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) published a list of successful signatories to the UK Stewardship Code (the Code) which sets high standards of stewardship for those investing money on behalf of UK savers and pensioners. The successful applicants better demonstrated their commitment to stewardship - which is very important as we emerge from the pandemic and address significant environmental and social challenges by investing for a sustainable future.
Following a rigorous review process which considered organisations’ investment styles, sizes and types, two-thirds of all applications (125) made the list. This represents £20 trillion of assets under management. The FRC received 189 applications from 147 asset managers, 28 asset owners, including pension funds and insurers, and 14 service providers, including data and information providers and investment consultants.
The FRC was pleased to see investors better integrating stewardship, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into their investment decision-making, reporting on asset classes other than listed equity and identifying the outcomes of their efforts. There was also some strong reporting on underpinning governance activities.
The organisations that did not make the list commonly did not address all the Principles or sufficiently evidence their approach, instead relying too heavily on policy statements. Other areas of weakness included reporting on the approaches to review and assurance, and monitoring service providers. We would also like to see more focus on identifying areas for improvement.
Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to consider the individual feedback provided along with the upcoming annual review of reporting to be published in November. Unsuccessful applicants can reapply in future application windows. The next opportunities are 31 October 2021 and 30 April 2022.
To remain signatories, organisations will need to continue to improve their reporting as market practice and expectations evolve. More information on the selection process can be found in this podcast.
Sir Jon Thompson, FRC CEO, said:

“Congratulations to all those who have become signatories to the UK Stewardship Code, which is recognised globally as a best-practice benchmark in investment stewardship. The publication of this list delivers on the recommendations of The Kingman Review in respect of stewardship and demonstrates our continued commitment to serve the public interest as we transform to becoming a new regulator. We are proud of our robust approach to assessment and encourage those who have been unsuccessful to reflect on our feedback and apply again in future.”

 Notes to editors:
The FRC’s purpose is to serve the public interest by setting high standards of corporate governance, reporting and audit and by holding to account those responsible for delivering them. The FRC sets the UK Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes and UK standards for accounting and actuarial work; monitors and takes action to promote the quality of corporate reporting; and operates independent enforcement arrangements for accountants and actuaries. As the competent authority for audit in the UK the FRC sets auditing and ethical standards and monitors and enforces audit quality.
The UK Stewardship Code
The UK Stewardship Code 2020 sets high stewardship standards for those investing money on behalf of UK savers and pensioners, and those that support them.

Stewardship is the responsible allocation, management and oversight of capital to create long-term value for clients and beneficiaries leading to sustainable benefits for the economy, the environment and society.

The Code applies to:
  • Asset owners such as pension schemes, insurers, foundations, endowments, local government pension pools and sovereign wealth funds.
  • Asset managers who manage assets on behalf of UK clients or invest in UK assets.
  • Service providers such as investment consultants, proxy advisors, data and research providers that support asset owners and asset managers to exercise their stewardship responsibilities.
New logo – The FRC have developed a new logo for those who have become successful signatories to the UK Stewardship Code

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