XPS survey reveals pension fund manager attitude to climate change

XPS survey reveals pension fund manager attitude to climate change

Eight out 10 fund managers believe that pension schemes should positively influence climate change, according to XPS Pensions Group.

XPS revealed the findings after meeting 90 fund managers to discuss investment and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

Sarita Gosrani, head of ESG research at XPS Investment, explained the findings: “We are delighted to see climate change at the top of the agenda for fund managers. We think that as a minimum ESG should be embedded within the risk management and decision making of all fund managers. However, the fund managers surveyed have demonstrated a desire for pension schemes to go one step further and seek to actually make a positive contribution.”

“It is also really interesting to note that when asked which fund management area will see the greatest innovation, 40% of fund managers said it will be in ESG, which suggests that they are actually taking this seriously.”

Simeon Willis, chief investment officer at XPS Investment, added: “We believe that ESG hasn’t yet been clearly explained to the market and there is confusion about the differences between ethical investment, impact investment, stewardship and ESG integration.”

“Our position is that ESG integration and stewardship are fundamental parts of risk management but further, pension schemes have an opportunity to make a positive impact. It is great to see the fund management community supporting this aspiration.

“XPS Investment has minimum ESG requirements that fund managers must meet before we will recommend them to our clients.”

XPS recently announced that former Ladbrokes executive Snehal Shah has been appointed as chief financial officer and executive director of the board, effective 27 June.

An orderly handover period is planned to commence during May. Current chief financial officer Mike Ainslie will leave XPS on 30 June.

Snehal has more than 20 years of experience in finance, investor relations, mergers and acquisitions execution and post-deal integration.

He spent 10 years in the early part of his career with PwC, specialising in complex audits of US- and UK-listed technology businesses.

Snehal joined Ladbrokes in 2009 where he held a number of senior finance roles, including group financial controller, head of investor relations and finance director for integration following the £2 billion merger with Coral Group in 2016.

Since leaving Ladbrokes Coral in 2017, Snehal has held senior interim finance roles at Parkdean Resorts and Countrywide.

Ben Bramhall, co-chief executive officer of XPS, said: “Snehal brings excellent relevant experience and we are very pleased that he will be joining the company as chief financial officer. I would also like to thank Mike for everything he has done during what has been a transformational period for XPS.”

Paul Cuff, co-chief executive officer of XPS, said: “XPS has a fantastic position in the market and we look forward to working closely with Snehal at what is a really exciting point in our journey.”

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