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AODP lambasts pension funds for ‘failed post-COP 21 test’

first_imgThe resolutions were voted on at ANZ Bank’s AGM in Adelaide, Australia, on 17 December and were defeated.The climate risk-related resolution drew only 5.4% of votes.It had been the focus of a shareholder campaign in Australia, with superannuation fund members encouraged to urge their funds to vote for the resolution.CalPERS, the Californian public sector pension fund, and two Australian institutions – Vision Super and Australian Ethical Investment – are reported to have supported the motion.The outcome of the vote triggered scathing criticism from the AODP, which said institutional investors were failing to follow through on their climate change commitments, and so soon after the global agreement reached in Paris.Julian Poulter, chief executive at the AODP, said: “With the ink not yet dry on the investor commitments from COP21, I imagine UNFCCC and the investor groups are scratching their heads.“COP21 was packed to the rafters with investors talking up climate risk, but, give them their first chance to prove they can actually follow through, and they fall dramatically short.”He went on to refer to a “major accountability problem” for pension funds and “an even worse climate risk issue”, and called for “a complete overhaul” of how pension and superfunds disclose their voting intentions.“Regulators can’t allow them to deceive their members over climate change by creating promises and then voting in the other direction or, worse still, making poor excuses for the banks,” said Poulter.New Zealand sovereign wealth fund NZ Super was one of the ANZ Bank shareholders to vote against the resolution.BlackRock, Northern Trust and State Street Global Advisers manage the superannuation fund’s global equity holdings, and all three opposed.NZ Super Fund does not have members but set out to IPE its reasons for not supporting the motion.A spokeswoman for the superannuation fund said that, when selecting managers, it places a strong emphasis on responsible investment and engagement capabilities.“We note that ANZ has been reported as a leader in climate change disclosure according to the Carbon Disclosure Project, to which we are a signatory,” she said.“We prefer to focus our engagement efforts on companies that are not so transparent, encouraging them to improve their disclosures.”NZ Super has a long-term strategy to increase its exposure to alternative energy and energy with low carbon intensity, she pointed out.The fund is part of the Carbon Disclosure Group and Investor Group on Climate Change and has directly invested $305m (€281m) in alternative energy over the last two or so years.It disclosed why its external managers voted against the resolution.BlackRock and Northern Trust both said it called for reporting already provided by the company, so its approval would lead to “unnecessary duplication of legal and voluntary disclosures”.State Street Global Advisors, meanwhile, voted against the shareholder proposal “based on our assessment and understanding of ANZ’s current approach to climate change”.The manager came to the decision after engaging with ANZ on the matter of the resolution.It also noted that “a global taskforce on climate-related financial disclosures is expected to issue recommendations and best practices for financial institutions at the end of 2016”.This appears to be a reference to the taskforce announced by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) on 4 December.IPE understands that the scope of its work is likely to be larger than just financial institutions’ reporting and to include non-financial companies’ disclosure, but this has not yet been decided. The Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP) has slammed global pension funds, saying they failed their “first post-COP 21 test”, a climate risk-related shareholder resolution at ANZ Bank.A sovereign wealth fund that voted against the resolution has set out its defence to IPE.The AODP and Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) proposed the resolution, which asked the bank to report on its exposure to climate change risk and carbon-intensive businesses and to set reduction targets.A separate resolution was lodged calling for greater shareholder rights.last_img read more

Chart of the Week: Which asset managers have the most ESG analysts?

first_imgRussell Investments, PIMCO and Vontobel have the most dedicated ESG or responsible investment analysts, according to data gathered as part of IPE’s Top 400 Asset Managers survey.The 2019 survey for the first time questioned managers on the number of dedicated specialists in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing issues, as well as the number of corporate governance specialists.Russell Investment came out on top of the ESG-related ranking, with 38 professionals fully dedicated to sustainable investment. PIMCO and Vontobel reported 36 each, while PIMCO also reported the highest number of corporate governance specialists. ESG/SRI/responsible investment specialistsChart MakerCorporate governance specialistsChart MakerA number of managers have hired for senior ESG or responsible investment roles in recent months. Last month Allianz Global Investors appointed Beatrix Anton-Groenemeyer as its first chief sustainability officer, while UK-based Majedie Asset Management hired Cindy Rose as head of responsible capitalism.Brunno Maradei recently joined Aegon Asset Management as global head of ESG, having previously worked at the European Investment Bank. Natixis Investment Managers – France’s second-biggest asset manager – hired Harald Walkate last month as its first head of corporate social responsibility and ESG.IPE’s survey asked asset managers to quote the number of dedicated ESG and corporate governance specialists, and compared the figures with the figure for total investment professionals at each firm. Companies that quoted the same figures for dedicated ESG or corporate governance specialists and total investment professionals were not included in the ranking.The number of dedicated analysts does not reflect the level of dedicated ESG assets reported by investment groups, however. IPE asked asset managers to report how much of their European institutional assets were run on ESG principles.Legal & General Investment Management reported that all of its €808bn in European assets were run to ESG principles, as did NN Investment Partners.European institutional ESG assetsChart MakerClick here to download the complete Top 400 table Further readingTop 400 Asset Managers 2019: Cultures Change Is asset management a technology business, a people business, or both?Artificial intelligence: Let me tell you what you really think How are managers deploying natural language processing to analyse management sentiment in earnings calls?center_img IPE Top 400 Asset Managers: Your source for institutional market intelligenceIPE offers unrivalled intelligence on over 400 global asset managers covering over 100 categories of products, strategies, asset classes, and key data areas. The data set is available to buy with a variety of purchase options.For more information please contact iperesearch@ipe.com.last_img read more

Buckeyes spoil Ball’s historic day

first_imgUW senior tailback Montee Ball played like a man on fire in his final home game at Camp Randall, rushing for 191 yards and a touchdown on 39 carries.[/media-credit]When Montee Ball took the ball at the 7-yard line, he cut left, leapt into the air and landed on his left foot before flopping into the Camp Randall end zone. The perfect Senior Day tale, the one where he would tie and then break the all-time NCAA touchdown record, seemed to be falling perfectly into place.But that tale quickly turned sour when Ball dove over a goal line pile-up with his arms fully extended, as Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier jarred the ball loose. The Buckeyes recovered the fumble at the 6-yard line and that second quarter score would be his lone touchdown of the game as Wisconsin (7-4, 4-3 Big Ten) fell to Ohio State (11-0, 7-0) in a 21-14 overtime loss Saturday. “Stupid play. Stupid decision,” Ball said of the play. “I just feel like I had to do something in that situation because they submarined our linemen, [the defensive line] kind of dove to the ground and it was clogged up.”A demoralized Ball returned to the sideline feeling as if he had cost the team not only the game-tying score, but a shot at handing the undefeated Buckeyes their first loss of the season.“He was pretty upset,” junior running back James White said. “Anybody in that position probably would be, so I just went over there, talked to him, was like, ‘Keep your head up, the game’s not over with, we have enough time to come back and win this.’”White’s words of encouragement held true less than three minutes of gametime later.A well-executed two-minute drill from UW quarterback Curt Phillips gave Ball another shot at career touchdown No. 79 – the record-breaker – but Ball’s two carries amounted to only four yards in Wisconsin’s only drive of extra period.“Extremely bittersweet,” Ball said postgame. “It would have been perfect for us to win with a touchdown in overtime and to break the record, but Ohio State played well and they deserve it.”The senior tailback finished the day with 191 yards on 39 carries, pushing and pounding his way to an average of 4.9 yards per carry. Redshirt senior center Travis Frederick described Ball’s physical style as “running as hard as I’ve ever seen him run today.”But after that fourth quarter mistake, it was difficult to recall the momentum-inducing excitement of the running back’s 78th career touchdown.As Ball climbed back to his feet after crossing the goal line, the neighboring student section erupting in cheers, he took a moment to soak in the situation before jogging to the sideline with the historic ball placed firmly in his right hand.The next stop was the bench, where he thanked the offensive linemen who paved the way for the impressive touchdown total that tied the NCAA career record.“It was just like, ‘Let’s keep going, let’s get the next one,’” Frederick said of Ball’s message to the offensive line after the touchdown. “You guys are doing great up there, and keep going.”Although his parents joined him on the field pregame and created what he described as the “ideal picture” for breaking the record earlier this week, the game did not pull together in picture-framed fashion for the senior tailback.But as it became increasingly apparent that the stars were not aligning for the senior’s big day and that he could not yet add his name to the NCAA record books, UW head coach Bret Bielema could not contain his emotion after the loss.“Seniors, those guys mean the world for me. I know Montee’s hurting, I know he wanted that [record],” Bielema said, his voice cracking as tears welled up in his eyes. “He was like a man possessed there in the second quarter, fun to watch. But the good news is it will make everybody stronger, just sucks to go through.”Picking up 41 yards in the first quarter, Ball’s day got off to a convincing start. In the second quarter on the drive that ended with his only touchdown, the senior tailback received the ball on four straight plays and rushed for 38 yards.Ball admitted that a swirl of frustration and disappointment ate at him in the locker room postgame. But looking surprisingly composed as a swarm of reporters gathered around him following the defeat, he twirled a certain football emblazoned with a red Motion ‘W’ in his hands. It was the record-tying football, a piece of history he said he still planned to hand over to his parents.Even after the difficult loss that made it impossible for the Badgers to officially win the Leaders Division crown, he acknowledged the magnitude of the moment when he tied former Miami (OH) running back Travis Prentice’s record.“It’s memorable,” he said. “It’s something that I’m going to look back on, cherish it for the rest of my life, so I just wanted to make sure to soak it all in.”Follow Ian on Twitterlast_img read more