Henderson Investors ups the ante on CSR practice

Henderson Global Investors this week highlighted a beefed-up corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy as the Association of British Insurers (ABI) published its latest research on CSR in a bid to engage analysts.

‘This year we will be engaging with those companies with poor levels of disclosure, using performance against the ABI guidelines as an objective benchmark,’ said Henderson head of socially responsible investment (SRI) research Nick Robins.

‘We will take unwillingness to improve transparency on this critical agenda into account when voting [at AGMs].’

ABI guidelines, introduced in 2001, call on companies to act responsibly to shareholders and society and show consideration of social, environmental and ethical issues in their accounts.

The announcement from Hen-derson, which applies to all companies in which it invests in the UK, coincided with the ABI’s report, Risk Returns and Responsibility. The report aims to involve analysts in the debate on how managing risk to corporate reputation can affect financial performance, and how to demonstrate its impact with hard data.

ABI head of investment affairs Peter Montagnon said it was ‘determined’ that the link between CSR and performance was taken seriously ‘as a relevant subject for mainstream sell-side analysts’.

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