Hermes Investment Management has today announced that its stewardship and engagement team, Hermes EOS, will work with the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) to provide reciprocal engagement services to their clients and members.
Hermes EOS, which provides stewardship services on £26bn of assets for Australian clients, currently provides international engagement services to some ACSI members, with others able to opt into their services. Globally, Hermes EOS engages on topics such as climate change, conduct, culture and ethics, diversity and human rights, as well as corporate governance and shareholder meeting related issues.
This follows a string of new client wins for Hermes EOS, where in Australia alone, it has seen a four-fold increase in global engagement holdings over three years. ACSI is the leading authority on managing environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in Australian equity markets and its members include 39 Australian and international asset owners and institutional investors, who collectively own on average 10 per cent of every ASX200 company.
Dr. Hans-Christoph Hirt, Head of Hermes EOS, Hermes Investment Management said:
“Our arrangement with ACSI reflects the significance of global equities in the portfolios of Australian pension and superannuation funds and the need for global, as well as local, engagement expertise. We are seeing increased appetite from investors in Australia for demonstrably effective stewardship services. Working with ACSI will result in a greater flow of information and level of insight for both organisations, our stakeholders and ultimately more impactful engagement with companies around the world. We look forward to sharing our expertise and enhancing our engagement plan by utilising ACSI’s deep understanding of the most material topics in the Australian market.”
ACSI CEO, Louise Davidson, commented:
“This landmark agreement will see two of the world’s foremost experts on environmental, social and governance advocacy and company engagements work together to assist investors to be long-term responsible stewards of their investments.
“ACSI members are increasingly active in international markets and need access to global as well as local engagement services. Working with Hermes EOS will enable us to provide our members with access to their global stewardship expertise.”
Hermes EOS is one of the world’s leading stewardship services, advising on £389.4bn1 on behalf of its clients. In 2018, the Hermes EOS team engaged with 746 companies on 2,084 environmental, social, governance, strategy, risk and communication issues and objectives.