Hermes signs ‘landmark’ deal with ACSI

The agreement comes as Australian investors take a growing interest in the stewardship of assets

Hermes Investment Management has signed an agreement with the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors to provide reciprocal engagement services to each other’s clients and members.

Hermes EOS, the stewardship arm of the fund group, already provides stewardship services to Australian clients with some £26bn in assets, including some ACSI members. In 2018 the EOS team engaged with 746 companies on 2,084 ESG, risk and communication issues.

In a statement on Tuesday (12 March), Hermes said that it has witnessed growing interest in engagement from Australian clients over the past three years.

“We are seeing increased appetite from investors in Australia for demonstrably effective stewardship services,” said Hans-Christoph Hirt, head of Hermes EOS, Hermes Investment Management.

“Our arrangement with ACSI reflects the significance of global equities in the portfolios of Australian pension and superannuation funds and the need for global, as well as local, engagement expertise.”

ASCI is recognised in Australia as an authority on managing ESG issues in relation to equity markets, with a membership that includes 39 asset owners and institutional investors, who collectively own around 10 per cent of every company listed on the ASX200.

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

Louise Davidson, chief executive officer of ACSI added that the agreement between the two parties would strengthen the hand of investors.

She said: “Working with Hermes EOS will enable us to provide our members with access to their global stewardship expertise.

“ACSI members are increasingly active in international markets and need access to global as well as local engagement services.”