Passive investors ‘not abdicating stewardship responsibilities’ [updated]

first_imgGeode Capital Management – which runs index-tracking funds on behalf of Fidelity – has historically backed management with its votes more than the other surveyed asset managers, although there were signs that the firm was becoming more willing to challenge the status quo, according to Morningstar.This year BlackRock and Vanguard supported a high profile shareholder resolution at Exxon Mobil against the board’s recommendation. This year was the first that Vanguard had supported a climate-risk disclosure resolution.The growth in index investing has coincided with … Morningstar’s survey work also found an increased commitment to engagement among index managers.“The research shows that index managers have no intention to free-ride with respect to engagement,” the research firm said. “Many are intensifying their efforts in that area.“They also, and perhaps more importantly, intend to improve the quality of their interactions.”Index managers’ corporate governance teams have grown recently, Morningstar highlighted. BlackRock’s expanded from 20 members in 2014 to 33 today, while UBS was to have 11 dedicated professionals employed by the end of this year, up from four in 2015.… increasing interest in responsible investment  Passive investing does not lead to an abdication of stewardship responsibilities, investment research firm Morningstar has said.On the contrary, index managers such as BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) were increasingly taking an active role in the oversight of investee companies, it said.The firm surveyed 12 providers of index funds and exchange-trade funds (ETFs) with over $12trn (€10.2trn) of assets under management in total.It found that nearly all of the providers applied the same stewardship principles to all their holdings, irrespective of whether these were in passive or active portfolios.center_img Hortense Bioy, director of passive strategies research for Europe at Morningstar, said: “Our research shows the largest index managers have stepped up their efforts in the areas of voting and engagement, as they seek to influence investee companies and help improve ESG standards across the board.“However, practices vary significantly among index managers and firms need to be doing more to enhance disclosure and communication to improve public awareness and understanding of their activities.”The costs associated with voting and engagement activities may lead to more differentiation among the managers’ approaches, Morningstar suggested.Large asset managers with economies of scale should be able to absorb the additional costs, but this may be more difficult for smaller firms. These would have little choice but to either do the minimum required or outsource stewardship activities.The benefits of direct engagement seemed more evident for managers that also had an internal active stock-selection business, and less so for the surveyed managers whose mandates were limited to passive and/or quantitative active strategies, such as Schwab and Geode.Note: A previous version of this article stated that Geode Capital Management ran funds on behalf of Fidelity, Vanguard and BlackRock. This article has been updated to reflect that Geode only runs funds for Fidelity.last_img read more

USC political organizations hold student debate

first_imgAudience members were allowed to pose their own questions to debaters. When asked how citizens can influence lawmakers to avoid intervention in Venezuela, USC GOP expressed disinterest in social action, while the other student groups voiced encouragement for social actions like protests.  “I thought maybe the moderators could’ve been, you know, a little more prepared, but it sounded like they had been subbed in last minute by somebody who canceled, so I can’t blame them too much for that,” said Reed Barnes, a junior majoring in computer science. Students discussed the current political and economic crisis in Venezuela, climate change and homelessness, among other topics at a political debate Tuesday hosted by Unruh Associates and the Political Student Assembly at Ground Zero Performance Café.   Nearly 20 students attended the debate, which featured USC GOP, Trojan Advocates for Political Progress, USC College Democrats and Trojans for Liberty.  Tuesday’s debate featured members of USC GOP, Trojan Advocates for Political Progress, USC College Democrats and Trojans for Liberty. (Krystal Gallegos/Daily Trojan) “I definitely thought this was going to be a lot more contentious,” said Guillermo Gutiérrez, a junior majoring in political science.  Students also commented on Sanders’ last-minute cancellation. Political Student Assembly Director Briana Miles and Unruh Associates Vice President José Guillermo Gutiérrez moderated the debate after organizers scrambled to find a new debate moderator. Symone Sanders, a Center for Political Future fellow and former national press secretary for 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, canceled at the last minute.  “I feel like people had different varying degrees of [political] expertise, and sometimes, certain political groups were clearly more educated on certain topics than others,” said Josh Masters, a senior majoring in animation and digital arts. “And to me, it wasn’t always a fair debate … I would want someone who disagrees with me to be well-prepared.” center_img “By 2050, we can reduce up to 80 percent of the net greenhouse gases we emit with the carbon tax that was just recently proposed by a bipartisan group of members of Congress and supported largely by Democrats,” said College Dems representative Andrew Binder, a freshman majoring in philosophy, politics and law. “Preventative measures, I think, is the best way the state can provide help [to homelessness],” Scavo said. “Mental health facilities, transportation, that sort of thing, is really important … I don’t know how effective providing affordable housing is when helping homeless populations because it’s not a supply issue, it’s a demand issue.”  TAPP, College Democrats and Trojans for Liberty switched out their debaters for the second topic of the night: climate change. Representatives addressed whether implementing the carbon tax would prove beneficial for climate change, which split the debaters into two groups. TAPP and College Dems supported the tax.  The debate ended with a discussion on homelessness in the country. Student representatives examined the government’s responsibility to address the homelessness crisis.  “I [do not] think it’s a big enough partisan issue to gain support to actually do anything to persuade lawmakers,” said USC GOP representative John Scavo, a sophomore majoring in political economy. “They’re going to do what they want.”  Representatives from each group presented on the topics, beginning with a discussion about the United States’ involvement in the current political crisis in Venezuela. They spoke briefly about their doubt over the United States’ intervention techniques in other countries. All agreed that non-intervention was the ideal solution.  While the representatives expressed contention over finer points of homelessness like zoning restrictions, they agreed homelessness is a complex issue. No one presented a singular solution to address the crisis but instead discussed contributing factors like addiction and mental health issues. last_img read more

Europa: Arsenal Eases into Last 16, Victor Moses Sinks with Fenerbahce

first_imgAlex Iwobi played all 90 minutes as Arsenal booked their place in the last 16 of the Europa League with a comfortable second-leg victory over Bate Borisov at the Emirates.Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, they scored inside four minutes when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cross was turned in by Bate defender Zakhar Volkov.Centre-back Shkodran Mustafi made it 2-0 before the break with a powerful header from Granit Xhaka’s corner. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (right) and Shkodran Mustafi celebrating Arsenal’s qualification for the last 16 of the Europa League following the 3-0 defeat of Bate Borisov at the Emirates Stadium in London…last night Substitute Sokratis Papastathopoulos headed in the third goal after an hour.After a disappointing performance in losing the first leg in Belarus, Arsenal needed to score at least twice to go through.Bate were denied an equaliser just four minutes after Arsenal had taken the lead when Stephan Lichtsteiner slid in to make a goalline clearance from Stanislav Dragun’s header.The visitors also came close when Maksim Skavysh hit the side-netting in the first half but Arsenal had the best chances through Iwobi, Xhaka and Aubameyang.Elsewhere, A brace from Sardar Azmoun and one from Magomed Ozdoev at Gazprom Arena ensured Zenit St Petersburg defeated Fenerbahce 3-2 aggregate to progress to the last 16 of the Europa League.Chelsea on loan star Victor Moses was unable to rescue the Turkish giants from losing and crashing out.Despite losing the reverse fixture by a lone goal in Turkey earlier this month, coach Sergei Semak’s men put up an impressive performance to seal their passage on 3-2 aggregate.Magomed Ozdoev opened scoring for the hosts in the fourth minute, while Sardar Azmoun doubled his side’s lead with barely seven minutes to the end of the first half.Mehmet Topal pulled one back for the visitors in the 43 minute to give his side an away goal advantage should the game end that way.Also yesterday, Celtic’s Europa League campaign came to an end at the last-32 stage for the second successive season as they bowed out to Valencia.Their task in the second leg always looked formidable, given they had never overturned a two-goal deficit away from home, nor had they won in Spain.A creditable first-half performance was marred by Jeremy Toljan’s dismissal for twice pulling back Goncalo Guedes.And Celtic finally conceded when Kevin Gameiro forced home from close range.While the Glasgow side were passive last week at Celtic Park, they were far more aggressive at the Mestalla against their La Liga hosts.Jonny Hayes shot over for the visitors, while Kristoffer Ajer also went close with the game still goalless.It would be over-stretching it to suggest Toljan’s red card was a pivotal point in the tie, with Valencia well in command following their 2-0 win at Celtic Park last week.But Celtic had at least given them food for thought, with a 3-4-3 formation offering a much more solid look and their use of the ball far improved.Ajer had a goal-bound shot blocked and Jozo Simunovic’s header was comfortably saved as Celtic searched for the opening goal that would bring the tie alive. Ajer would also bullet a glorious header over the bar later in the match with the game still goalless.The draw for the last 16 takes place today at 12:00 GMT.UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE(Round of 32, second leg)Di’ Zagreb 3-0 FC Viktoria(Di’Zagreb 4-2 aggregate)Red Bull 4-0 Club Brugge(Red Bull 5-2 agg.)Napoli 2-0 FC Zürich(Napoli 5-1 agg.)Eintracht 4-1 Shakhtar(Eintracht 6-3 agg.)Valencia 1-0 Celtic(Valencia 3-0 agg.)Zenit 3-1 Fenerbahçe(Zenit 3-2 agg.)Villarreal 1-1 Sporting(Villarreal 2-1 agg.)Arsenal 3-0 FC BATE(Arsenal 3-1 agg.)Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more