Accounting watchdog unveils latest list of best fund managers

The UK’s accounting watchdog has unveiled its latest UK Stewardship Code list of asset managers and pension funds as part of plans to improve the sector.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said two-thirds of applicants – or 125 organisations – made the list, representing £20 trillion of assets under management.

The UK Stewardship Code was first launched in 2020 following recommendations for better oversight in a Government-commissioned review.

Most of the UK’s biggest names were included in the list, but there were notable absences for Schroders, Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Rothschild Wealth Management.

Bosses at the FRC said the companies listed set “high standards of stewardship for those investing money on behalf of UK savers and pensioners”.

The FRC added that it was “pleased to see investors better integrating stewardship, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into their investment decision-making, reporting on asset classes other than listed equity and identifying the outcomes of their efforts”.

Those that failed to make the list commonly did not provide enough evidence that they were on top of these key issues, relying too heavily on policy statements, it added.

Other areas of weakness included reporting on the approaches to review and assurance, and monitoring service providers.

FRC chief executive Sir Jon Thompson 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.

“The publication of this list delivers on the recommendations of the Kingman Review in respect of stewardship and demonstrates our continued commitment to serve the public interest as we transform to becoming a new regulator.

“We are proud of our robust approach to assessment and encourage those who have been unsuccessful to reflect on our feedback and apply again in future.”

Those in the list include the BT pension scheme, AXA, Fidelity, M&G and Legal & General.