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PLSA, IA launch stewardship steering group

written by Bella Palmer

The group will aim at strengthening the relationship between asset owners and investment managers

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) and the Investment Association (IA) have launched a stewardship steering group to create sustainable value for savers and investors.

The joint initiative will focus on examining how stewardship and a focus on long-term investment can be better integrated into the investment process to create positive outcomes for savers.

The group - which held its first meeting earlier this week - is co-chaired by PLSA chair Richard Butcher and Standard Life Aberdeen global head of investment governance and oversight Archie Struthers and brings together asset owners, investment managers and other stakeholders.

Members are industry-wide and represent firms including Nest, Border to Coast Pension Partnership, Willis Towers Watson, BlackRock, State Street Global Advisors, and Sackers.

The group will consider a range of issues aimed at strengthening the relationship between asset owners and investment managers including the role of asset managers in ensuring stewardship plays a key role in their approach to manager selection, the steps investment managers can take to deliver clients' stewardship policies, and the role their disclosures play in the flow between them both.

The steering group will also help deliver on the recommendations by the Asset Management Taskforce Stewardship Working Group in its report Investing with purpose: placing stewardship at the heart of sustainable growth, which was published last year with the aim to better embed stewardship into the investment process.

Butcher said: The relationship between asset managers and asset owners is vital if we are to achieve the objective of investing for good. The PLSA's 2020 report A changing climate: how pension funds can invest for the future identified a number of barriers to succeeding with this objective. This included a lack of clarity of definitions, poor quality data, better climate stewardship and, critically, the need to set out requirements more clearly.


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