Large asset managers fail think tank’s climate engagement test

September 29, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgThe think tank said its study was the first study to analyse the nature of asset managers’ engagement with companies with regard to climate change, “highlighting the fact that the global leaders’ shareholdings and relationships give them huge leverage to drive corporate action to support the Paris Agreement”.O’Neill said previous research had either looked at asset managers’ portfolios or their voting behaviour.“I’ve never seen anyone take an eclectic look at the sum of the engagement activities of the asset managers,” he told IPE.2020 Stewardship Code as benchmarkThe organisation used the UK’s new Stewardship Code – which takes effect from January next year – to benchmark the quality of asset managers’ engagement.The engagement score that InfluenceMap assigned to asset managers has many components. The think tank defines engagement as referring to all investor actions undertaken to influence the management strategy of investee companies, including: questions at AGMs and other company meetings, comments in the media or public fora, and filing of shareholder resolutions and voting.A spokeswoman for BlackRock said the firm “put a priority on engaging with a company on addressing climate-related issues” and engaged with 370 companies globally on the topic of climate risk in the past two years. She also noted that BlackRock had the largest stewardship team in the world.O’Neill said leadership was shown by organisations such as Legal & General because they had “sophisticated frameworks and enforcement mechanisms to transition the behaviour of companies towards Paris alignment”.“BlackRock appears to engage with a large number of companies, pushing them on disclosure and climate risk management,” he said. “This is reflected in our online scoring of BlackRock, which was shared with them.”The BlackRock spokeswoman also pointed to the firm’s activities away from company engagement, saying it offered product choices to investors that wanted to avoid specific sectors, and invested heavily in research demonstrating the relationship between sustainability issues, risk and long-term value creation.Asset owners nextInfluenceMap said the methodology applied by its ‘FinanceMap’ team was developed in consultation with leading global asset managers, with O’Neill naming Hermes Investment Management, LGIM and Sarasin as having provided input.He also said the think tank “iterated” its approach with the wider market, having approached all of the asset managers it ended up identifying in its report and obtaining “a high level of feedback”. “We would have adapted the methodology if we thought we got something wrong,” said O’Neill.O’Neill also told IPE that InfluenceMap had input from individuals at asset owners such as the Church of England Pensions Board (CEPB) and Sweden’s AP7.AP7 brought the perspective of a universal owner, which was at the heart of InfluenceMap’s work, said O’Neill.In its report, the think tank said it recognised asset owners’ important and growing role in shaping portfolios and driving the corporate engagement process and would probably expand its finance project to cover asset owners.The Principles for Responsible Investment recently said institutional investors were not making the most of the powerful tool of stewardship, and has launched a programme to promote more positive investor action.InfluenceMap’s report can be found here. Large asset managers are “collectively failing” to do enough to drive corporate action in support of international climate goals, according to a think tank.According to UK-based InfluenceMap, of the world’s 15 largest asset managers only Allianz, Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) and UBS Asset Management “strongly and consistently” engage with investee companies about aligning their business models to meet the Paris Agreement goals.Some other European managers, like AXA, were not far behind in performance on climate engagement, the think tank wrote, while US firms such as BlackRock and Vanguard “call on companies to consider climate risks but do not drive behaviour change around climate models or policy lobbying”.Thomas O’Neill, research director of InfluenceMap, said: “If global asset managers wish to support the Paris Agreement and remain invested in the automotive, power and fossil fuel industries then they must engage robustly with companies in these sectors to accelerate their switch to low carbon technologies and ensure their policy lobbying supports climate targets.”last_img read more

Cairns apartment buyers need to consider strata dynamics

September 28, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgAPARTMENTS are a key part of the Cairns property scene, either for holiday investors or residents keen for a no-frills home close to the city’s amenities.But Archers the Strata Professionals, which has a presence in Cairns, has urged new buyers to do plenty of research on the strata or body corporate scheme and its management when buying an apartment.Partner Grant Mifsud said it was not just the property being purchased but also common areas and relationships with other owners.Mr Mifsud said while most strata schemes were well-managed and maintained communities, there could also be financial, legal, administrative and emotional challenges for buyers whether they be owner-occupiers or investors.Buyers should check out records to determine whether they are financially and emotionally stable and well managed.There are also professional body corporate record search agents trained to spot potential problems.Mr Mifsud said the five key areas where bodies corporate experience problems include their finances, common property defects, legislative compliance, body corporate management and disputes.“A solid program of maintenance, good recordkeeping, reporting and a healthy sinking fund are all important tools for maintaining common property,” he said.“A body corporate also needs good leadership to avoid stagnation and disputes. It is possible for a building to become derelict or invaded by toxic personalities and shockingly quickly. Since apathy usually goes hand-in-hand with stagnation of action, the longer it continues the larger the cost both financially and emotionally to eventually get the building back on track.”More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms3 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns3 days agoMr Mifsud said “dealing with difficult people” was the most daunting aspect of the job for all strata managers.He advised members to keep to the following:• Stay impartial and calm. The complainant is usually frustrated with the situation.• Listen and take notes. This is a necessary step not only to demonstrate your concern but to keep a record in case of formal dispute.• Empathise. If the complainant sees you are paying attention and empathising with them, their emotion will tend to diffuse.• Set boundaries. Let them know what your role is in the situation and the limit of your assistance.• Solve the problem. Educate the complainant of a step forward in the dispute resolution process.last_img read more

EBRD Acquires Stake in Black Sea Oil & Gas

September 28, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgEuropean Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has become a minority shareholder in the Black Sea Oil & Gas (BSOG) company. BSOG, who is currently backed by The Carlyle Group, informed that EBRD will receive one board seat as part of the investment.The transaction is significant for BSOG as it approaches final investment decision in the Midia Gas Development project (MGD), the company said. MGD will consist of five offshore production wells, a subsea gas production system, an offshore production platform, a 126 km offshore and onshore gas transmission pipeline and an onshore gas treatment plant.Marcel van Poecke, head of Carlyle International Energy Partners, said: “We are excited to welcome EBRD as a fellow shareholder and to be working together to address the challenges of taking BSOG to first gas in the coming years. With its strong market standing and long experience in the region, we welcome EBRD as a partner who shares our view of the importance of the MGD to the development of the Romanian Black Sea in particular and European energy and infrastructure activities more broadly.”Matteo Patrone, EBRD regional director for Romania and Bulgaria, added: “With this landmark equity transaction, our intention is to support the development of the private upstream oil and gas company in Romania. We are also committed to providing assistance to the Romanian government in further improving the country’s legal and regulatory framework for offshore oil and gas operations and building regulatory capacity for the whole industry.”last_img read more

Hoeing at Wrigley

September 24, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgBatesville Senior, Bryan Hoeing, was invited to play in the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game at 8:05 p.m. Saturday, August 16, at Wrigley Field in Chicago.  He was selected to do so because he has been deemed as one of the 38 best high school players in the nation this year.  This information comes through Bryan Helvie, Batesville Athletic Director, and the Herald-Tribune newspaper.For the past few summers Bryan has been playing baseball on one of the best select teams in Indiana.  He spends most of his summer vacation traveling around the United States playing in baseball tournaments.  Besides this activity, he still finds time to participate in Batesville High School’s summer basketball program.The busiest person in this family is probably not Bryan but his mom, Donna, who has to make sure Bryan is available for all of these activities.  Up until this year, I am not sure if Bryan had a drivers license that did not require an adult being with him in the car.  Good luck to Bryan as he plays in the prestigious showcase of amateur baseball!last_img read more