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UK Investment Association Outlines 2023 AGM Priorities

Members of the UK-based Investment Association (IA) will challenge FTSE-listed companies on their diversity and climate-related records during the 2023 AGM season. The IA has published its annual shareholder priorities for the year, drawing on information collated by its Institutional Voting Information Service (IVIS), which advises investment managers on how to vote at AGMs by issuing companies with ‘red tops’ (highest warning level) and ‘amber tops’ (consideration needed). IVIS has raised the ambition of its diversity targets this year, meaning that FTSE 350 companies will be issued a red top if women represent 35% or less of the board, 30% or less of the executive committee, and if FTSE 100 companies fail to meet the Parker Review target of one director from a minority ethnic group. On climate, IVIS will continue to issue an amber top to any FTSE-listed company that fails to disclose across all four pillars of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and will monitor whether companies have made a public statement that its directors have considered the relevance of climate and net zero transition risks when preparing and signing off on the company accounts. “Strong engagement and an open dialogue between investors and firms is crucial,” said Andrew Ninian, the IA’s Director for Stewardship, Risk and Tax. “Executive pay will also stay firmly in the spotlight in this year’s AGM season, as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite. Investors will look to companies to show restraint on pay for their top leadership team and ask that it reflects the wider stakeholder experience, including the lowest paid employees and vulnerable customers.” 



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