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

Sports Minister Throws Decision on Rohr’s Future Back to NFF

September 17, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgSports Minister, Sunday Dare (left), receiving an autographed Nigerian home jersey from Super Eagles Head Coach, Gernot Rohr in his office in Abuja…wednesday CONTRACT RENEWALFemi SolajaWith uncertainty surrounding the contract renewal of Super Eagles Head Coach, Gernot Rohr, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, wednesday insisted that the issue of extending the stay or not of the Franco-German gaffer lies with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). The tactician’s contract with the Glass House is to expire next June and there are indications that the relationship between him and NFF appears frosty at the moment and it is unlikely he may be given the nod to continue on the job.Rohr qualified Nigeria to the last World Cup finals in Russia and AFCON 2019 last summer in Egypt.But wednesday, the Sports Minister who met with the coach in his office said the decision to renew or terminate the relationship lies at the door step of NFF.“The issue of contract (with Rohr) will be best handled by the NFF. I understand the need to work the fine lines.“I understand there is a contractual arrangement with the NFF, I will allow the NFF to work through its process, ” the minister insisted after the meeting.Dare however charged the coach not to be distracted but intensify efforts to take Nigerian football to the pinnacle.“Are we happy about where our football is at the moment, not exactly but we know there’s an ongoing process that will make this country a better football nation. That process is on and you are part of the process”,he remarked.Interestingly, the current contract will expire in the middle of the ongoing AFCON 2021 qualifying round of matches with Nigeria leading Group L with maximum six points after wins against Republic of Benin and Lesotho last weekend. Sierra Leone is the fourth team in the group.Dare, however stressed that the ministry will continue to give the coach all the necessary support as the NFF finalises its meeting on the contract talks.He also tasked the coach on working with stakeholders to develop the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in line with international best practices.” More importantly, your knowledge and support for the domestic league will be very important because you can share your experience with our local coaches,” the minister said.Earlier, Rohr congratulated the minister on his appointment and efforts to reposition Nigerian sports.He pledged to work more closely with the minister going forward as the Super Eagles strive to pick the AFCON 2021 ticket.High point of the event was the presentation of an autographed Super Eagles jersey by the coach to the minister.In a related development, NFF has concluded plans to replace all the national team coaches due to the free fall of Nigeria’s teams in age grade international competitions in recent time.The decision appears a follow up to NFF’s meeting with the Sports Minister on Monday where Dare demanded a written explanation on why Nigerian football teams can no longer perform as expected in international competitions.The Head of Communications, Ademola Olajire gave this this hint after the meeting with the minister.“The NFF has gone ahead to map out strategies for better results going forward, including but not limited to a revamp of the NFF Technical Department; improved supervision of the teams by the NFF Technical Committee; open and transparent process to select new head coaches for the teams affected; early preparation and prioritization of tournaments; synergy between the Ministry and the NFF to get approved funds released early enough for adequate preparation of teams participating in major matches and competitions and; to work even harder at securing partners and sponsors to support the programmes of the National Teams,” he stated.THISDAY recalled that coach Paul Aigbogun-led Flying Eagles crashed out in the second round of the 2019 FIFA U2O World Cup; the Falcons were eliminated by Cote d’Ivoire in the 2020 Olympic qualifier, the Golden Eaglets failed at the just concluded FIFA U17 World Cup in Brazil and the Imama Amapakabo tutored U23 national team similarly failed to pick one of the tickets to the 2020 Olympic at the ongoing U23 African Cup of Nations in Egypt. The team failed at the WAFU tournament as well as the CHAN final qualifying tournament.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more