Three large public asset owners in New Zealand with combined assets of roughly NZ$65 billion ($44.4 billion) hired BMO Global Asset Management to engage with the management of companies they invest in globally on environmental, social and governance-related issues.
An announcement Tuesday by the NZ$30 billion ($20.4 billion) New Zealand Superannuation Fund, Auckland, and BMO Global Asset Management, said BMO would handle “engagement services” for New Zealand Super, the NZ$31.5 billion Accident Compensation Corp. and the NZ$3.7 billion Government Superannuation Fund, both of Wellington.
A New Zealand Super spokeswoman said the appointment, the fund’s first for “engagement activities,” should “free up our in-house team to focus on New Zealand.”
She declined to talk about fee arrangements. A BMO executive couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Matt Whineray, NZ Super's chief investment officer, said in a news release that ESG factors are “material to long-term investment returns,” and BMO's appointment should increase “the reach and effectiveness of our global engagement program.”
“Collaborative engagement by multiple investors is more effective than acting alone in influencing company behavior,” added Paul Bevin, general manager investments for the Government Superannuation Fund, in the release.