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Myners wants company voting rethink to aid shareholders

A new report from Paul Myners has recommended that company voting should be integrated fully into the investment process.

The report was commissioned by the shareholder voting working party, an organisation involving the AITC, the ABI, the IMA and the NAPF aimed at providing a better system of voting for shareholders in the UK.

Myners&#39 recommendations are not binding on the Treasury but the working party says it hopes its findings will persuade the Government to implement changes.

The AITC says it agrees with the report, saying that shareholder voting is a crucial element in the drive to improve corporate performance.

The AITC says it needs to ensure that its members are able to play a part in making the corporate voting system easier.

Director general Daniel Godfrey says good corporate governance combined with active and responsible shareholder stewardship will contribute to improved corporate performance.

The TUC agrees with the report&#39s emphasis on giving pension funds a more active role in invested companies&#39 AGMs but it believes the process should be taken further.

The TUC says it thinks that institutional investors should be required to disclose publicly how they have voted.

Another area that the TUC thinks should be further explored is pooled and other collective investment vehicles, where it suggests that clients are unable to make use of their own voting policy.

General secretary Brendan Barber says: “Pension fund trustees have a responsibility to hold managers to account for votes cast in AGMs and to ensure that voting policies are implemented.

“Voting is a service issue and if trustees are not happy with the service being provided, they should be prepared to look elsewhere.”

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