Escott, Gupta to Co-chair FCA Vote Reporting Group

UK-based pension providers Railpen’s Caroline Escott and Scottish Widows’ Shipra Gupta have been named as Co-chairs of the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Vote Reporting Group. Escott, who is Senior Investment Manager at Railpen, and Gupta, who is Investment Stewardship Lead at Scottish Widows, will jointly fill the role, which Deborah Gilshan stepped down from last year. The group was set up in November 2022 to examine obstacles to the flow of information from managers to asset owners on how voting rights are exercised. Last year, the group carried out a consultation on a voluntary standardised vote reporting template for asset managers to communicate with asset owner clients on their voting activity. Respondents to the consultation reaffirmed their desire for the template to become mandatory and to be made publicly available, in order to foster greater accountability and transparency. “We believe voting, alongside thoughtful engagement, is a powerful stewardship tool as it is a public expression of either sanction of, or support for, a company’s behaviour,” Escott said. “To ensure voting is aligned with the best interests of members, asset owners need timely, clear and decision-useful information to effectively engage with and, where necessary, hold their managers to account.”  

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