This AGM season, we are calling on private investors to make their voices heard.
With a number of major environmental, social and governance (ESG) votes coming up this AGM season, interactive investor calls on private investors to make their voices heard.
Last week, several City giants chose to opt out of the hotly anticipated Deliveroo IPO. Fund heavyweights such as Aviva (LSE:AV.) and Aberdeen Standard cited ESG concerns related to the company’s treatment of its employees.
After a year that has seen record numbers of new investors start to take control for their financial future, interactive investor is calling on retail shareholders to use the power of voting their shares, too.
Richard Wilson, CEO of interactive investor, said: “More private investors are realising they have strength in numbers and can effect change through voting their shares. The platform industry must do more to help its customers find their voice and offer support on the issues that customers care about, such as ESG. We’re not talking about ‘barbarians in the boardroom’; these are everyday small shareholders who want to make sure management are acting in line with their purpose and values.”
Lee Wild, Head of Equity Strategy, interactive investor, says: “Leading companies in the so-called gig economy have also come under pressure to change their ways, especially around contracts and pay. And there has been positive progress. Uber (NYSE:UBER) must now treat its drivers as workers rather than independent contractors after losing a five-year legal battle. Deliveroo – about to become the UK’s largest IPO for years – is being urged to do the same just as its riders threaten strikes to improve workers’ rights and pay. Its stock market flotation will give Deliveroo’s army of new shareholders a great opportunity to make their own protest to management.”
|Rio Tinto (LSE:RIO)||9 April||Disclosures around greenhouse gas emissions and aligning trade body membership with the Paris Agreement|
|Unilever (LSE:ULVR)||5 May||Net zero pledge|
|Aviva (LSE:AV.)||6 May||Net zero pledge|
|BP (LSE:BP.)||26 May||To bring decarbonisation plans closer in line with the Paris Agreement|
At interactive investor, once a customer has switched on their voting preferences in their account, they will automatically receive updates on decisions that affect the shares they own. Ahead of AGMs, they will be emailed about all supported shareholder meetings when they are uploaded to the Voting & Information portal.
ii has also recently enhanced its shareholder voting and information page.
Last year, the most voted shares on the interactive investor platform, in rank order, were: Unilever (LSE:ULVR), Sirius Minerals, Lloyds Banking Group (LSE:LLOY), BP (LSE:BP.), Vodafone (LSE:VOD), Royal Dutch Shell (LSE:RDSB), Scottish Mortgage (LSE:SMT), GlaxoSmithKline (LSE:GSK), Rolls-Royce (LSE:RR.), Royal Mail (LSE:RMG).
A January poll by interactive investor of 2,347 website visitors found that 60% of investors say the ‘E’ (for environmental) in ESG is most important to them when making investment decisions.
In all, 43% of respondents said they factor in ESG criteria in their investment decisions.
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Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.