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  • 30/11/2020
    Amy Wilson
    EOS at Federated Hermes, the leading stewardship provider, has today published its 2021 UK Corporate Governance Principles. In a letter to 124 listed UK companies, EOS has outlined its expectations across a number of important strategic governance, environmental and social topics.
  • 12/03/2019
    Dr. Hans-Christoph Hirt
    Hermes EOS will work with the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors to provide engagement services
  • 12/09/2018
    Mitch Reznick
    The perceived divergence of priorities between bondholders and shareholders has led some to believe that these investors cannot engage with companies on the same issues. Some – remarkably - even question the legitimacy of bondholders (or other creditors) engaging with companies in the first place. However, given their financial stakes in a company, both types of investors not only have legitimate cause to engage, but also a professional duty to do so. So say, Mitch Reznick, Co-Head of Credit, and Dr. Hans Christoph-Hirt, Head of Hermes EOS, in We Can All Get Along, a new report dispelling myths surrounding joint company engagements between bondholders and long-term shareholders. Writing in the paper, the authors argue that the difference in the payoff profile of equities and bonds is sometimes cited as a reason that bondholders focus less on long-term factors, while shareholders want to see growth. However, there are strategic issues which the pair highlight as being relevant to a company’s current and likely future health and value creation, including the management of ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors. Arguing that although the cash flows from bonds held to maturity will not alter unless operating cash flows are substantially impaired, the authors highlight that unmitigated risks can weaken a company’s ability to fulfil its debt-service obligations.
  • 22/05/2018
    Dr. Hans-Christoph Hirt
    Ahead of the Deutsche Bank AG AGM on Thursday 24 May, Dr. Hans-Christoph Hirt, Head of Hermes EOS at Hermes Investment Management, highlights the questions the Chair needs to answer and explains why the Chair is ultimately responsible for the company’s limited progress in the implementation of a value-creating strategy. He also raises concerns about the high turnover of management and supervisory board members and urges a review and improvement of the selection and nomination processes for management board members and non-executives. The Chair needs to answer serious questions regarding CEO turnover and other management board changes Given the catalogue of challenges Deutsche Bank currently faces, more effective leadership and continuity is needed in its management board. Unfortunately, there continues to be high churn: •The appointment of Christian Sewing as the new CEO in April, which was preceded by rumours and leaks, means that Deutsche Bank has now had four CEOs/co-CEOs during the six-year tenure of the Chair, Paul Achleitner. He hand-picked John Cryan, who was initially appointed as co-CEO in mid-2015 (when he was a member of the company’s supervisory board), after overseeing the previous co-CEOs for three years following his own election in 2012
  • 25/10/2017
    Dr. Hans-Christoph Hirt
    Following its publication in 2010, the UK Stewardship Code quickly became a global trendsetter. Similar guidance has since followed in Brazil, Canada, Japan and other Asian countries, Kenya, South Africa, several European countries and even in the US. As stewardship codes continue to surface across the globe, Dr Hans-Christoph Hirt, Head of Hermes EOS at Hermes Investment Management, assesses the impact and success of implementation in the UK in comparison to its Asian and American counterparts. 
  • 20/09/2017
    Dr. Hans-Christoph Hirt
    Today, Hermes Investment Management’s stewardship and engagement team, Hermes EOS, has published a new study with University of Göttingen, which sheds light on the key drivers of impactful shareholder engagement. The independent study, “Talk is not cheap – The role of interpersonal communication as a success factor of engagements on ESG matters”, examines the drivers of impactful shareholder engagement using the information from Hermes EOS’ engagement database. Using a novel analytical method, which benefits from the depth of Hermes EOS’ proprietary engagement and stewardship information captured in a dedicated database going back more than a decade, researchers from the University of Göttingen were able to identify some of the key drivers of impactful engagement and found that: • Personal, board-level interactions with the company substantially increase the chances of effective engagement success.
  • 07/07/2017
    Dr. Hans-Christoph Hirt
    Hans-Christoph Hirt, Head of Hermes EOS at Hermes Investment Management, comments on today’s WPP AGM. 1. Succession planning We welcome the chair’s recognition of investor concerns regarding the company’s preparedness for succession. Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP’s CEO and founder, has created a great deal of value since taking over as Chief Executive of the company in 1986. He is rightly regarded as one of the most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders in the world. In light of this, the preparation for his eventual succession has been the focus of our engagement over the last years. Succession risks appear to have moved up the company’s agenda under this chair’s leadership and management of this seems increasingly reflected in WPP’s work and communications to shareholders. However, while we appreciate the steps that the company has taken so far, we urge the chair to continue to focus on the management of succession risks.