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Stewardship Vital to “Successful Financial Outcomes” – Railpen

UK-based pension fund Railpen has highlighted the importance of investor rights and protections in its 2022 Stewardship Report, published as part of its commitment to the 2020 UK Stewardship Code. The report highlights Railpen’s progress in sustainable ownership and focuses on four stewardship priorities: the climate transition, the worth of the workforce, responsible technology, and sustainable financial Markets. The report encompasses Railpen’s first full year aligning with trustees updated Investment Beliefs, which emphasise the integration of climate risk and other environmental, social, and governance factors into investment decisions as part of fiduciary duty. Key highlights from the report include Railpen’s initiatives to address market gaps, collaborative engagements such as the Investor Coalition on Equal Votes (ICEV), the Workforce Directors initiative, and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) Bondholder Stewardship Initiative. Railpen emphasised its commitment to leveraging all available tools in the stewardship toolkit beyond voting, such as engaging with company boards. Caroline Escott, Senior Investment Manager at Railpen, underscored the importance of investor stewardship and the need to maintain strong investor protections and rights.Our report is published at a time when investor voting rights, and broader shareholder protections, are under threat in a debate that underplays the importance of high-quality investor stewardship to successful financial outcomes,” said Escott. “We hope that the examples provided in our Stewardship Report will help make the case for maintaining the strong investor protections and rights that have made the UK the global financial powerhouse it is today.”

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