Today Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, Hiro Mizuno, CIO of the Japanese Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) and Brenda Trenowden, Global Chair of the 30% Club, opened the market at the London Stock Exchange as part of an event #30pcinvestorgrp marking the phenomenal take up of membership in the 30% Club UK Investor Group.
The 30% Club UK Investor Group has grown from 7 to 27 members and from £1.6 trillion to £10.5 trillion in assets under management. The initiative is now global, with significant groups in Australia and Canada as well as a new group forming in the US.
The London Stock Exchange opening was followed by a panel discussion including Paul Polman, Hiro Mizuno, Mark Zinkula, CEO of Legal & General Investment Management and Hanneke Smits, CEO of Newton Investment Management, and attendees included a wide representation of asset owners and asset managers as well as CEOs and Chairs of UK plc companies.
Brenda Trenowden, Global Chair of the 30% Club, remarked:
“I am delighted with the momentum that our campaign has achieved over the past year – both with our tremendous take up of FTSE350 CEO Members and with the expansion and very active engagement of our investor group. Members are collectively engaging with listed FTSE companies on gender and broader diversity as a stewardship and governance issue and the companies have responded well to the constructive dialogue. We want to highlight the companies that are doing well in this space and proactively nudge those who need more encouragement.”
Deborah Gilshan, Co-Chair of the 30% Club UK Investor Group remarked:
“The UK Investor Group is a combination of asset owners, asset managers and charities, so we represent investors across the investment spectrum. With more and more members coming on board, our engagement with companies becomes ever more substantial and companies are embracing it.”
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency and Chair of the Environment Agency Pension Fund's Investment committee said:
“The world is changing fast and businesses need to stay one step ahead to succeed. Increasing diversity is essential for the survival of businesses in 2018, let alone in the coming years, so investors who engage with corporate boards about their diversity policies are demonstrating sound financial judgement.”
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Notes to Editors
The 30% Club was founded in the UK in 2010 and is a global effort with chapters in ten countries around the world. Led by Brenda Trenowden, Global Chair, the 30% Club collaborates with businesses, governments and other campaigns to improve gender diversity and accelerate the pace of change from schoolroom to boardroom. Campaign targets include a minimum 30% women at senior management level of FTSE-100 companies by 2020.
The full list of influential members supporting the 30% Club initiative, which includes 59 FTSE 350 CEOs and 42 FTSE 350 Chairmen can be found at: https://30percentclub.org/about/chapters/united-kingdom
The 30% Club UK Investor Group was established in 2011 and chaired by Emma Howard Boyd. Co-chairs are now Clare Payn Head of Corporate Governance North America, Legal & General Investment Management and Deborah Gilshan, Governance & Stewardship Director of Standard Life Aberdeen. Its purpose is to:
- co-ordinate the investment community’s approach to diversity, in particular to explain the investment case for more diverse boards and senior management teams;
- exercise ownership rights, including voting and engagement, to effect change on company boards and within senior management teams;
- encourage all investors to engage on the issue of diversity with chairs of boards and senior management teams.
As asset owners and asset managers, members of the UK Investor Group are responsible for the stewardship of the investments they make on behalf of their members and clients. Part of that responsibility includes the assessment of the boards and senior management teams of our investee companies. A Statement of Intent was launched in October 2016 to demonstrate the commitment of members of the UK Investor Group.
Current members of the UK Investor Group are listed here: https://30percentclub.org/initiatives/investor-group and below:
Aviva Investors, AXA Investment Managers, Baring Foundation, Barrow Cadbury Trust, BlackRock, BMO Global Asset Management, Church Investors Group including Church Commissioners for England and Church of England Pensions Board, EdenTree Investment Management, Environment Agency Pension Fund, Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), Hermes Investment Management, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Jupiter Asset Management, Legal & General Investment Management, Liontrust Investment Ltd, Local Authority Pension Fund Forum, Local Pensions Partnership, M&G Investments, NEST, Newton Investment Management, Old Mutual Global Investors, Quilter Cheviot Investment Management, Royal London Asset Management (CIS) Limited, RPMI Railpen Investments, Sarasin & Partners LLP, Standard Life Aberdeen and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.