Active ownership aimed at creating sustainable change was a priority for Legal & General Investment Management in 2019, according to an annual report by the global institutional asset manager with $1.48 trillion under management.
Last year, LGIM engaged with 493 companies, voted on 50,900 resolutions and took sanctions against 11 companies related to the firm's climate impact pledge. It also opposed the election of over 4,000 company directors and voted against 71% of companies due to concerns over suitability of directors or auditors, pay, or other elements of company strategy, said the report, issued Wednesday.
ESG engagements in 2019 by topic included 379 on governance, 275 on social, 239 on environmental and 132 on other topics such as financial and strategy concerns.
LGIM supported more climate change resolutions than any of the largest 20 asset managers and published its second annual ranking of climate leaders and laggards, the report said. It also co-filed its first shareholder resolution, calling on BP to explain its strategy in relation to the Paris Agreement on climate change. BP has since changed its position and in February announced ambitions to reduce carbon emissions from BP products to net zero by 2050 or sooner.
"Our annual Active Ownership report demonstrates that we're not just speaking about ESG issues, we're acting on them. What makes this so important now is that while the coronavirus pandemic has flipped ESG on its head, principles of governance are critical in times of crisis," said John Hoeppner, head of U.S. stewardship and sustainable investments at Legal & General Investment Management America.