Protecting Shareholder Value The role of the LAPFF
Protecting Shareholder Value The role of the LAPFF Keith Bray, Forum Officer 10 December 2014 Agenda 1. About the LAPFF 2. Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility 3. Approaches to activism 4. Some engagement results 5. Summary 2 The Role of the LAPFF
The Forum is a voluntary association of LGPS funds which seeks to protect and enhance the value of its members shareholdings by way of shareholder engagement, by action on corporate governance issues and by seeking to promote the highest standards of corporate social responsibility at the companies in which LAPFF members invest 3 LAPFF What we are about In pursuing its aim to protect and enhance shareholder value the Forum is a voluntary association of LGPS funds which seeks to optimise LA pension funds influence as shareholders to promote high standards of Corporate Governance (CG) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
facilitates commissioning of research and policy analysis of issues relating to areas of concern more effectively than individual members provides a forum for consultation on shareholder initiatives, information exchange and discussion about investment issues provides a forum to consider any issues of common interest to all pension fund administrators and trustees (e.g. the future structure of the LGPS and the use of collective investment vehicles (CIVs) ) 4 LAPFF - Membership Currently 61 Local Authority pension funds 5 Welsh Authorities
21 English Counties 21 London Authorities 8 English/ Metropolitan/Unitary Authorities The Northern Ireland Fund (NILGOSC) 3 Scottish Authorities 2 Passenger Transport Authorities 130 billion in value Membership open to all LGPS pension funds 5 LAPFF Members as at 1 November 2014 Avon Pension Fund
Bedfordshire Pension Fund Cheshire Pension Fund Clwyd Pension Fund Corporation of the City of London Cumbria CC Dyfed Pension Fund Devon CC Derbyshire CC Dorset County Pension Fund East Riding Pension Fund East Sussex County Council Falkirk Council Greater Gwent Fund Greater Manchester Pension Fund
Gwynedd Pension Fund Hampshire Pension fund Lancashire County Fund LB Barking & Dagenham LB Camden LB Croydon LB Ealing LB Enfield LB Greenwich LB Hackney LB Haringey LB Harrow LB Hounslow LB Islington LB Lambeth
LB Lewisham LB Newham LB Southwark LB Tower Hamlets LB Waltham Forest LB Wandsworth Lincolnshire CC Lothian Pension Fund London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA) Merseyside Pension Fund NILGOSC Norfolk Pension Fund Northamptonshire CC North East Scotland Pension
Fund North Yorkshire CC Nottinghamshire CC Rhondda Cynon Taff Shropshire County Pension Fund Somerset CC South Yorkshire Pension Fund South Yorkshire PTE Pension Fund Staffordshire Pension Fund Surrey CC Teesside Pension Fund Tyne and Wear Pension Fund Warwickshire Pension Fund West Midlands Pension Fund
West Midlands PTA Pension Fund West Yorkshire Pension Fund Wiltshire CC Worcestershire CC 6 LAPFF our structure MEETINGS 4 Business Meetings a year, Annual General Meeting
Each member Fund has one vote at meetings but decisions usually by consensus Forum Executive Annual Conference (members receive two complimentary places) PUBLICATIONS Trustee guides, monthly bulletins, quarterly newsletters, quarterly engagement reports & annual report , website (www.lapfforum.org )
CONTRACTS PIRC contracted to supply research, advice and assistance to LAPFF Forum Officer liaison with members, marketing and publicity. (Part-time) Granted Special Interest Group (SIG) status by Local Government Association (LGA) 7 The revised Myners Principles
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Effective decision making Clear objectives Risks and liabilities Performance assessment Responsible ownership Transparency & reporting (LGPS funds required to comply or explain) 8
CIPFA Guidance Authorities may wish to consider seeking alliances with either other pension funds in general or a group of local authority pension funds, to benefit from collective size where there is a common interest to influence companies to take action on ESG issues. For example the LAPFF exists to promote the investment interests of LA funds, and to maximise their influence as shareholders while promoting corporate social responsibility and high standards of corporate governance amongst the companies in which they invest. 9 Corporate Governance (CG)
& Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) The system by which companies are directed and controlled. Boards of directors are responsible for the governance of their companies, while shareholders role in governance is to appoint the directors and auditors and to satisfy themselves that a proper governance structure is in place. Cadbury (1992) Corporate governance can be defined narrowly as the relationship of a company with its shareholders or more broadly, as its relationship to society (Financial Times) This illustrates the link between corporate governance and corporate social responsibility (CSR)
10 Areas of concern for responsible owners Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) issues Environmental issues (e.g. Greenhouse gas emission, Mineral exploration, waste disposal) Supply chain labour standards reputational risks Boardroom structures Directors remuneration Appointment of and role of auditors Accounting standards as applied to banks 11 Boardroom structures Separation of Chair of Board from Chief
Executive (e.g. M&S) Independence of non- executive directors Senior independent director Recruitment and appointment of directors Induction and professional development Institute of Directors IoD Chartered Director qualification (supported by LAPFF) 12 Directors remuneration Supportive of appropriate rewards for success Opposed to Fat cat pay deals rewarding poor performance Opposed to excessive rewards which are
disproportionate to performance Promotion of transparency 13 Appointment of and role of auditors Risk of conflict of interest from other relationships with company Ratio of fees for consultancy work and audit fees Independence of audit committees 14 Accounting standards as applied to banks
Banks accounts were signed off by auditors as representing a true and fair view of their financial position. Shortly afterwards they needed to be bailed out by public money HBOS needed 40.8bn RBS needed 51bn and shareholders suffered major losses. Are accounting standards fit for purpose? 15 Approaches to shareholder activism
Leave it to fund managers Use a consultant Do it yourself Collaboration (e.g. by membership of the LAPFF) 16 Approaches to shareholder activism Collaboration improves effectiveness immeasurably Engagement with companies preferable to confrontation
Effectiveness of screening (i.e. dis-investing from particular companies) is questionable 17 Collaboration is crucial NAPF e.g. Disclosure of directors pensions Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS)
Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) International collaboration e.g. with US state pension funds You cannot do it effectively on your own its simply a case of strength in numbers 18 Some engagement results
19 Following a period of unsuccessful engagement about Sir Stuart Roses occupation of the roles of both Chairman and Chief Executive, the LAPFF tabled a resolution at the 2009 M&S AGM requiring the company to bring forward the separation these roles. The resolution was supported by 37.7% of M&S shareholders Marc Bolland subsequently took over as Chief Executive in May 2010 and Robert Swannell took over as chairman in January 2011 20 LAPFF co-filed a resolution seeking an
independent chair The culmination of intensified engagement over the past year Meetings held with investors and advisers to build support Vote in favour: 30.5% Excluding Murdoch votes: 67% 21 Financial Reporting Council Accuracy of bank accounts Ongoing correspondence and meetings with Sir Win Bischoff( former Chairman of Lloyds Banking Group) Current Chairman of the Financial Reporting Council. LAPFF liaison with an investor coalition
including the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), Railpen Investments and several leading investment fund managers 22 The Department for Communities and Local Government view (DCLG) Supportive of activism and of LAPFF as an organisation DCLG officers have been keen supporters of LAPFF for many years 23 Benefits of LAPFF membership Improved effectiveness
61 member funds Assets of 130 billion Strength in numbers Improved information flow/intelligence about Corporate governance/CSR issues More scope for collaboration Co-ordination of campaigns 24 Benefits of LAPFF membership
Value for money Research costs spread over 61 Forum member funds Saves officer time and cost in researching issues Forum for discussion and networking about any related local government pension fund issues. Two free places at LAPFF annual conference 25 Where are we now? Beginning to make a difference Public support is growing Cross party political support Constant media interest
Much more to do 26 The future? More collaboration - more effectiveness 27 Future Developments at LAPFF Increasing membership and greater influence Membership more than doubled (increased by 150%) since 2003 Growth in membership expected to continue Growing influence with other institutional investor
groups and with Central Government Higher profile and greater influence with corporate sector (investee companies) E.G. Professor John Kay author of the Kay Review and Robert Swannell - Chairman of M&S, have spoken at the LAPFF Conference 28 Summing Up The LAPFF provides:a customised, cost-effective vehicle for LA pension funds to improve both their effectiveness as responsible investors and their compliance with Myners Principle 5 responsible ownership 29
Protecting shareholder value Acting together - achieving more 30
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