AP Pension Selects a Stewardship Partner

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    Stockholm (NordSIP) – Active ownership is a key tenet of sustainable investing. Yet, as most responsible asset owners would agree, it can be quite demanding. Exerting your influence and exercising your rights as an investor, either as a shareholder or bondholder, to improve corporate behaviour and make investments more sustainable takes time and perseverance. The task also requires the expertise of specialists with the right skills and plenty of experience.

    While some asset owners do try to cope with the resource-intense stewardship exercise on their own, many are turning to expert service providers for help. One such collaboration was revealed on 26 February, as Danish pension company AP Pension announced that it had appointed EOS at Federated Hermes Ltd. (EOS) to provide engagement, voting and public policy support across the fund’s corporate equity and bond assets.

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    “Active ownership is a cornerstone of our work with sustainable investments and an important tool to enhance our overall investment approach,” comments Anna Maria Fibla Møller, Head of Responsible Investments at AP Pension. “We believe that through engagement with companies we can both mitigate the negative impacts of our investments on people and the planet as well as identify key ESG risks that may have long-term effects on return perspectives. We look forward to a mutually beneficial collaboration with EOS as we continue striving to deliver high investment returns and long-term value for all of our clients.”

    AP Pension, an independent, client-owned pension company with EUR 23 billion in assets under management, has high sustainability credentials and ambitions. Back in 2019, for instance, it was the first commercial pension company in Denmark to launch an investment line focusing on responsible and sustainable development, aiming to contribute to reaching the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Choosing to share the burden of active ownership with an external partner would not have been taken lightly.

    Meanwhile, adding the Danish pension company to their portfolio of advisory clients is another feather in EOS’s cap. One of the world’s largest stewardship service providers, EOS already advises more than USD 1.4 trillion of assets, a testimony to the increasing popularity of the outsourcing approach that AP Pension has just opted for.

    “We look forward to working with AP Pension and engaging in meaningful dialogue with the companies across its corporate equity and fixed income portfolios on a range of ESG themes including climate-related issues and biodiversity loss,” says Howard Risby, Regional Lead – UK & Europe Engagement, EOS at Federated Hermes Limited. “As calls for a just transition intensify, it is now more important than ever that we contribute to a global financial system that delivers more sustainable outcomes for the environment and all members of society while offering long-term returns for investors. Through active stewardship and meaningful engagement, our services seek to protect and enhance the value of our clients’ assets, and safeguard their reputation, supporting stronger financial performance and enhanced outcomes.”

    Image courtesy of Annie Spratt on Unsplash
    Julia Axelsson, CAIA
    Julia Axelsson, CAIA
    Julia has accumulated experience in asset management for more than 20 years in Stockholm and Beijing, in portfolio management, asset allocation, fund selection and risk management. In December 2020, she completed a program in Sustainability Studies at the University of Linköping. Julia speaks Mandarin, Bulgarian, Hindi, Russian, Swedish, Urdu and English. She holds a Master in Indology from Sofia University and has completed studies in Economics at both Stockholm University and Stockholm School of Economics.
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