A group of 20 institutional investors managing $7 trillion in assets are sharing guiding principles for managing their stewardship responsibilities amid the coronavirus pandemic, in guidance released Friday by SquareWell Partners in London.
The guidance covers expectations for communication, dividend payments, executive pay, annual general meetings and more. So far, the investors expect some delay in research from proxy advisory firms and plan to defer to regulatory guidance on annual meetings, including any decisions to postpone them.
Investors also expect less focus on executive pay and more on pressing business issues, but note that companies should manage reputational risks on pay in light of falling employment.
ESG will still matter to the investors and for certain sectors will become even more prominent. "Investors are convinced that E&S factors remain fundamental, not secondary," SquareWell found.