Castlefield has successfully joined a limited number of responsible asset managers and asset owners to become signatories of the Financial Reporting Council's (FRC) UK Stewardship Code.
The UK Stewardship Code 2020 sets high stewardship standards for asset owners and asset managers, and is built around 12 principles of effective stewardship, with a greater emphasis placed on transparency standards around stewardship activities than the 2012 code it replaced.
The FRC updated the code in 2020 to better account for the changes the investment market has gone through since the publication of the first code in 2012.
Increased priority has been placed on environmental and social factors, to acknowledge that ESG issues have become materially important for many investors. Asset managers and owners are also required to create and publish a report on the outcomes and specific stewardship activities over a 12 month period.
According to the 2020 Stewardship Code report: “Environmental, particularly climate change, and social factors, in addition to governance, have become material issues for investors to consider when making investment decisions and undertaking stewardship.”
To become signatories, organisations need to submit a Stewardship Report to the FRC demonstrating how they have applied the Code’s Principles in the previous 12 months. The FRC will then evaluate Reports and those that meet the reporting expectations will be listed as signatories to the Code. Organisations must then report annually to remain signatories.
Sir Jon Thompson, chief executive of the FRC, said: "Congratulations to all those who have become signatories to the UK Stewardship Code, which is recognised globally as a best-practice benchmark in investment stewardship."
Castlefield Partner Simon Holman said: “We've always taken our role as Thoughtful Investors seriously - actively engaging with investee firms and openly reporting on activities. We're delighted to be amongst the first signatories to the new UK Stewardship Code.”
The 2020 Stewardship Code report can be found at this link: https://www.frc.org.uk/getattachment/5aae591d-d9d3-4cf4-814a-d14e156a1d87/Stewardship-Code_Dec-19-Final-Corrected.pdf