Hermes inks local ESG partnership

The British investment management giant has signed an agreement to share its ESG expertise with an Australian body for asset owners.

Hermes Investment Management's stewardship business (EOS) will share engagement insights about Australian and global companies with the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI), whose members include 39 local and international investors who together own an average 10% of every ASX200 company.

Hermes is one of the world's largest provider of stewardship services with $706 billion in funds under advice through its EOS business.

ACSI chief executive Louise Davidson said: "This landmark agreement will see two of the world's foremost experts on environmental, social and governance advocacy and company engagements work together to assist investors to be long-term responsible stewards of their investments."

"ACSI members are increasingly active in international markets and need access to global as well as local engagement services. Working with Hermes EOS enables us to provide our members with access to high quality global stewardship expertise."

The partnership builds on an existing relationship. Hermes EOS currently provides international engagement services to some ACSI members and its services are opt-in for others.

"By working together, ACSI and Hermes EOS have created a significant repository of company engagement expertise. In 2018, ACSI conducted 249 engagement meetings with ASX300 companies and provided voting advice on 1712 resolutions across this index," ACSI said.

"In 2018, Hermes EOS engaged with 746 companies on 2,084 ESG, strategy, risk and communication issues and objectives."

Hermes EOS head Hans-Christoph Hirt said:  "We look forward to sharing our expertise and enhancing our engagement plan by utilising ACSI's deep understanding of the most material topics in the Australian market."

"Working with ACSI will result in a greater flow of information and level of insight for both organisations and our stakeholders and ultimately more impactful engagement with companies around the world."

Read more: ACSIHermes EOSESGHermes Investment ManagementHans-Christoph HirtLouise Davidson
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