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Change of ownership structure at Australian ESG research and governance house Regnan

Several large institutional investors withdraw to become clients

Regnan, the Australian ESG research and engagement specialist, has announced a change in its ownership structure with several large institutional investors withdrawing to become clients instead.

The move sees the ownership roster reduced to just two firms, BT Investment Management (BTIM), part of the wealth management arm of the Westpac banking group and the Australian government’s Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC).

Regnan itself emerged in 2007 from the BT Governance Advisory Service (GAS) and CSC’s predecessor the Australian Reward Investment Alliance (ARIA), according to a CSC timeline. At the time the other shareholders also included Vanguard Investments Australia, VicSuper, Victorian Funds Management Corporation, HESTA Super Fund, Local Government Superannuation Scheme and Hermes, the fund manager owned by the UK’s BT Pension Scheme [which is not linked to BT Investment Management].

The firm is headed by Managing Director Amanda Wilson and Chairman Ken Boundy, who has multiple directorships including Governor of WWF Australia. Also on the board are Rajinder Singh, Portfolio Manager at BTIM and Alison Tarditi, Chief Investment Officer at CSC.

Singh manages BTIM’s range of sustainability and ethical funds while Tarditi is also Vice-Chairman of theWorld Economic Forum Long-Term Investment Council.

“Regnan today announced changes to its ownership arrangements, in a move designed to extend its leadership and influence over its next phase of development,” Regnan said in a statement. “The ownership restructure reflects changing investor needs as ESG moves toward mainstream practice.”

The statement went on: “Most of its shareholders will convert to be long-term clients of Regnan’s ESG engagement and advocacy service, with some also electing to utilise the company’s growing advisory practice.”

Boundy thanked the shareholders and clients for their “vision and support”, adding the firm now has a “momentum of its own”. Wilson said the move would enable Regnan to be “agile enough” to serve new clients.

Elsewhere, advocacy group the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) has called for support for shareholder resolutions on climate change at the AGMs of power companies AGL and Origin.

The ACCR says it needs 100 shareholders to move a resolution. The forms need to be mailed by July 17 and August 10 respectively. ACCR is working with advocacy groups Getup and the Asset Owners Disclosure Project and ethical financial advisers including TasEthical, Ethical Investment Services and Ethinvest. Link