04 May 2020

Royal London signs up to ICGN as part of responsible investment push

5 min read

 
Helen Morrissey, Personal Finance Specialist
Helen Morrissey

Corporate PR Specialist – Long Term Savings

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Royal London Group has joined the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) as part of its commitment to promote and support high standards of corporate governance.

Membership of the network will give the mutual insurer a further platform from which to influence public policy as part of a collective voice in this area. It will also provide access to the latest trends and developments in engagement and advocacy to further inform Royal London’s approach.

The move follows Royal London’s decision to sign up to the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment earlier this year. As an asset owner the insurer has pledged to generate good returns while also making a positive contribution to society and the environment.

The ICGN is a global investor-led organisation aimed at promoting investor stewardship and long term benefits of good corporate governance. Members are drawn from over 50 markets with assets under management in excess of $54trn. They are made up of asset owners such as pension funds and insurance companies as well as asset managers. Members of the network must sign up to seven core stewardship principles (see notes to editors).

Commenting on the move Lorna Blyth, head of investment solutions at Royal London, said:

“Signing up to the ICGN will enable us to collaborate with other asset owners to positively influence issues around investor stewardships and promote high standards of corporate governance. It is an ideal next step in our responsible investment journey.”

Kerrie Waring, chief executive officer at ICGN added:

“ICGN is delighted to welcome Royal London to our global network of governance professionals. This exemplifies a strong commitment to good governance and investor stewardship as a pre-requisite for protecting and enhancing long-term value on behalf of Royal London clients and beneficiaries.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

The ICGN has seven key stewardship principles. 

These principles are:

  1. Internal governance: the foundation of effective stewardship
    Investors should keep under review their own governance practices to ensure consistency with the aims of national requirements and the ICGN Global Stewardship Principles and their ability to serve as fiduciary agents for their beneficiaries and clients.
  2. Developing and implementing stewardship policies
    Investors should commit to developing and implementing stewardship policies which outlines the scope of their responsible investment practices.
  3. Monitoring and assessing investee companies
    Investors should exercise diligence in monitoring companies held in investment portfolios and in assessing new companies for investment.
  4. Engaging companies and investor collaboration
    Investors should engage with investee companies with the aim of preserving or enhancing value on behalf of beneficiaries or clients and should be prepared to collaborate with other investors to communicate areas of concern.
  5. Exercising voting rights
    Investors with voting rights should seek to vote shares held and make informed and independent voting decisions, applying due care, diligence and judgement across their entire portfolio in the interests of beneficiaries or clients.
  6. Promoting long-term value creation and integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors
    Investors should promote the long-term performance and sustainable success of companies and should integrate material environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in stewardship activities.
  7. Enhancing transparency, disclosure and reporting
    Investors should publicly disclose their stewardship policies and activities and report to beneficiaries or clients on how they have been implemented so as to be fully accountable for the effective delivery of their duties.

For further information please contact:

Helen Morrissey, Corporate PR Specialist – Long Term Savings

About Royal London:

Royal London is the largest mutual life insurance, pensions and investment company in the UK, with assets under management of £138.9 billion, 8.6 million policies in force and 4,126 employees. Figures quoted are as at 31 December 2019.