LGIM Toughens Stance on Diversity, Climate Engagement

In 2021, Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM) opposed the election of 370 investee company directors globally due to concerns about board diversity, according to the firm’s eleventh annual ‘Active Ownership’ report. LGIM voted against directors at 54 UK-based and 102 US-based companies last year due to poor board diversity, compared to 40 and 31 the previous year respectively. The asset manager also engaged with 44 S&P 500 firms and 35 FTSE 100 companies whose board membership showed “a total lack of ethnic diversity”. LGIM further tackled environmental and governance themes in their voting and engagements with companies last year, including advocating for corporate reporting transparency, achieving best practice transition plans, and ending deforestation. Climate change continued to be one of the most frequent topics of engagement for the firm’s stewardship team, with climate-related issues raised in 21% of all LGIM’s company engagements in 2021. Michelle Scrimgeour, LGIM CEO, said: “With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic still being felt throughout 2021, we focused our engagements with companies on major challenges including climate change and biodiversity loss, as well as the social issues that the pandemic has brought into stark relief, including racial injustice and social income inequality. We exercised our voting rights across our entire portfolio and stepped up our engagement with policymakers and other stakeholders to deliver positive change.” 

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