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Some asset managers yet to respond to MPs about Carillion stewardship

MPs want to know if institutional investors complied with Stewardship Code

Some of the asset managers asked by the chairs of two Parliamentary committees about their engagement with collapsed construction firm Carillion have still not yet responded after almost two weeks.

The chairs of the Work and Pensions Committee and the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, MPs Frank Field and Rachel Reeves, wrote to a series of fund managers late last month in the wake of a corporate implosion marked by poor governance and investor short-selling.

The letter went to senior executives at firms including BlackRock, Brewin Dolphin, Letko, Brosseau & Associates, Deutsche Bank, Kiltearn Partners, Standard Life Holdings and UBS.

It was part of a joint inquiry that has seen executives of the failed company appearing in the House of Commons this week.

But Responsible Investor has established that as of yesterday (February 7) not all the asset managers have replied to Field and Reeves – despite their request for a response by February 2.

The two MPs, both senior figures at Westminster, said they wanted to “examine the effectiveness of the board’s stakeholder engagement and whether its major institutional investors complied with the Stewardship Code”.They continued: “In this context, could you set out what engagement you had with Carillion Plc following the publication of the Annual Report and Accounts for 2016 and the interim financial results for 2017?

“Could you set out what engagement you had with Carillion?”

“What steps did you take to influence the financial decisions of the board, what response did you receive, and what lay behind your decision to sell shares in the company when you did?”

A spokesperson for the Work and Pensions Committee confirmed that it had received responses from some but not all the investors. The person declined to say which had responded, given that the inquiry is ongoing, and was not able to provide information on the nature of the responses received.

With reporting by Paul Verney