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The high-profile collapses of UK household names like BHS, Carillion and Thomas Cook in recent years have put the spotlight on the country’s audit industry. A government overhaul, after a number of reviews and investigation, was announced this March.
It’s not a topic that has generally been at the top of investors’ minds, says Caroline Escott, Senior Investment Manager at UK pension scheme Railpen, who remembers “eyes tending to glaze over” when she would discuss it with investors in her former policy role at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA).
But it’s been a key focus for the £32bn railway-workers’ fund.
“Investors need to be able to rely on the accounts of a company as representing a true and fair view of a company’s financial health,” says Escott.
Railpen typically votes against audit committee …