NEST sticks with Manifest for proxy voting

National Employment Savings Trust, London, rehired Manifest for proxy voting and engagement support, said a spokeswoman for the plan.

NEST renewed its contract with proxy voting and analysis firm Manifest for another three years, following a search process. The other bidder was Institutional Shareholder Services, said a spokeswoman.

The £990 million ($1.2 billion) multiemployer plan had previously worked with Manifest as part of a wider contract with Royal London Asset Management, according to the spokeswoman. The previous contract lasted five years and ended in January 2017. NEST did not renew the contract with Royal London.

Royal London was NEST’s original environmental, social and governance adviser. It identified companies that needed monitoring and Manifest would monitor and provide research. “We are now moving to a direct relationship with a proxy-voting manager as our assets under management continue to grow,” added the spokeswoman.

“Through our workplace pensions we all now have a stake in the future of global companies. That means we have an interest in how profitable and sustainable those companies are over the long term. On behalf of over four million members NEST aims to be an active owner of those shares by voting and engaging with companies to encourage good corporate behavior and reduce investment risk,” Paul Todd, director investment development and delivery, said in a news release.