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London borough pension fund reviews SRI and ESG position

Scheme reviews fund manager voting and class action lawsuits process.

The £467m (€513m) London Borough of Ealing pension Fund is reviewing its stance on ESG and SRI in a bid to become a more engaged investor. The move follows a meeting of the pension fund panel in June this year. According to recently released fund documents: “A number of recommendations” have been proposed as to how Ealing can become “more engaged as investors.” The meeting minutes state: “Members agreed to review the Ealing stance on socially responsible investments.” The fund said its officials would look at the recommendations with newly appointed investment consultants Hewitt Associates – which recently took over from rival firm Mercer in the role – and report back in December.As part of the process of better investor engagement, it was decided that quarterly reviews of voting rights by the scheme’s asset managers would be implemented immediately. Lazard Asset Management, which runs a UK equities brief for the scheme, will report directly to members on the issue, the scheme said. The fund has also agreed that scheme custodian BNY Mellon will also lodge class action claims on its behalf where appropriate. The fund is already involved in a class action lawsuit against US-based UnitedHealth, which alleges that the firm issued “a series of materially false statements”.
A recent actuarial assessment of the Ealing fund found it was 48% funded.