Towers Watson appoints Hermes for stewardship activities
Global investment business Towers Watson has appointed Hermes EOS, one of the world’s leading engagement services, to advance its stewardship activities.
Hermes EOS engages on ESG issues in public policy in addition to its corporate engagements. It is supporting various collective investor policy groups – including the Principles for Responsible Investment, the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, CERES, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and UNEP FI – to encourage regulators to set ambitious targets and push for appropriately calibrated local and regional regulation on environmental issues.
On social matters, Hermes EOS presses regulators for better standards on wages, health and safety, bribery and corruption and human rights. Corporate governance actions in the public policy sphere include the promotion of equal shareholder rights, better proxy access, enhanced disclosures on board structures and individuals and longer-term remuneration structures that align the interests of executives with those of long-term investors.
In 2014, Hermes EOS and its parent – Hermes Investment Management – became one of the first signatories to the respective Stewardship Codes in Japan and Malaysia after significantly contributing to their drafts. Hermes EOS also co-signed a letter backing the UK government’s commitment to include proportionate supply chain requirements in the Modern Slavery Bill.
Colin Melvin, CEO, Hermes EOS, said: “We are proud to have been chosen by Towers Watson to engage on its behalf at a market level on environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters. Towers Watson has been at the forefront of advising its own clients on responsible investing and we are pleased to be able to provide the firm with our insight and expertise.”
Towers Watson is Hermes EOS’ first consulting and fiduciary management client.
Emma Hunt, Senior Investment Consultant, Towers Watson, said: “We have long taken the view that we are not passive participants in the investment world. With over $2 trillion of assets under advice, we believe it is important that we use our influence to change investment for the better. Collaborating with other investors is a powerful way to enhance the leverage that we can have, and that is why we have appointed Hermes EOS to undertake market level engagement.”