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Nest hunting for ethical monitor on fund factors

The National Employment Savings Trust has launched a search for a responsible ownership provider to ensure the scheme’s fund managers consider environmental, social and governance factors when they invest members’ money.

Nest will use external service providers to help deliver its responsible ownership policy. In the early stages of the scheme, the fund managers will carry out voting while the scheme’s in-house team and responsible ownership provider will monitor the fund managers’ voting relative to Nest’s voting policy.

Nest says at a “certain size” of scheme assets or after a “certain period of time” it may take control of detailed voting decisions and execution.

AWD Chase De Vere head of communications Patrick Connolly says monitoring ESG factors has become stand- ard practice in investment decision-making. He says: “I think it is a rational and sensible decision and it is exactly the sort of step you would expect Nest to be taking.”

The national scheme, which will launch in low volumes on a voluntary basis in October this year, has also started the recruitment process for chairs and initial members of employer and member panels.


Dampier: Home in on China

During my career, I have been privileged enough to engage with some of the brightest minds in the industry. Last week I was fortunate enough to speak with Anthony Bolton, manager of Fidelity China special situations investment trust. Bolton’s track record running the Fidelity UK special situations fund is a rare example of a fund […]


Big Society Isas could be high risk

Advisers have warned that Government plans for Big Society Isas appear to be a high-risk investment strategy that is unlikely to be suitable for retail clients. The social Isas are part of a wider strategy under the Big Society Bank which aims to develop the social investment market to give charities and social enterprises access […]


Rethink your client priorities

Standard Life says many IFAs do not recognise which parts of the advice chain clients value most when pricing their services. Speaking at Money Marketing’s RDR Invitational last week, Standard Life director of intermediary distribution Stephen Ingledew said: “Your customers value some parts of your role more than others. Advisers spend more time on administration […]

Japan Economic Insight

James Dowey, Chief Economist, and Paul Caruana-Galizia, Economist

The conventional wisdom is that following a roughly 50 per cent rise in the stock market in 2013 in Yen terms, the Japan trade is over and done*. So the story goes, those big gains were due to a one-off boost from quantitative easing (QE) and a depreciation of the Yen — policies that one should think of as a palliative to Japan’s economic weakness, but not a cure. Rather the cure, and by implication the necessary condition for a longer-term investment case, is deep structural reforms — a painstaking re-weaving of Japan’s economic and social fabric, no less. The story continues: this is a much tougher test than launching a blast of QE, and one that prime minister Shinzo Abe, although well intentioned and well supported by the public thus far, is likely to fail. Stick a fork in Japan, it’s done…continue reading


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