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Many of the world’s best-known Asset Managers side too often with company management on controversial votes at company AGMs, even when there is a clear case for challenging company management on a vote, says sector watchdog ShareAction, which has compared the voting records of the largest 33 UK Asset Managers on a host of controversial votes made at a year’s worth of Annual General Meetings. 


The report, which compares the voting records and levels of transparency on voting of Asset Managers, checked under the bonnet of firms responsible for investing £13.8 trillion of assets for pension savers, charities, universities and individuals all over the world. 


ShareAction is giving media advance notice that it is supporting two shareholders to attend the Annual General Meeting of Next on Thursday, May 14 in Leicester to ask questions to their board of directors about the Living Wage. Attending will be Father Michael Brown and George Gabriel of Citizens UK. 

They intend to ask the board of Next to commit to paying the Living Wage of £9.15 in London and £7.85 across the UK to all their staff based in the UK. This is a part of ShareAction’s campaign for the Living Wage across the FTSE 100 through shareholder activism. 


The appointment of Ros Altmann, a pensions expert with a real eye for the interests of savers, is warmly welcomed by ShareAction. Altmann’s long standing commitment to reforming the pensions industry to better serve the interests of savers is widely acknowledged and ShareAction looks forward to working with the Minister on these important goals.


Medal-winning Invictus Games wheelchair athlete and disability rights campaigner Susan Cook plans to attend the Annual General Meeting of National Express on Wednesday, May 6, to ask the company to commit to a “wheelchair priority” policy on its buses.


Working with disability rights charity Transport for All, Cook is an active campaigner against “first come, first served” policies, which mean bus companies view disabled passengers no differently from passengers with folding buggies or heavy luggage. This means disabled passengers are often left at the kerb, unable to board, as buses pull away.  


The decision of GSK and Burberry to accredit as Living Wage employers makes 23 of the FTSE 100 who have announced or applied for accreditation with the Living Wage Foundation. 


AGM questions and shareholder pressure played a critical role in bringing this about.


Shareholders in HSBC and Barclays will attend the Annual General Meetings of the banking giants in London on Thursday (Barclays) and Friday (HSBC), April 23 and 24, to ask their boards to commit to full transparency on the costs of their bad behaviour, and to contribute to an industry-wide initiative to achieve consistency on reporting of ‘Conduct Costs’ across the global banking sector.