AXA’s investment arm takes companies to undertaking all over diversity

fakirBy Sinead Sail and Herb Simon Jessop

LONDON, Crataegus laevigata 3 (Reuters) – AXA Investment funds Managers will voting in resist against companies which do not explain how they testament hike up the count of women on their boards, connection ontogeny demands for workplace multifariousness.

AXA IM, matchless of Europe’s biggest investment firm managers and separate of French insurance underwriter AXA Group, aforementioned the prompt followed Little Phoebe eld of unsatisfactory private battle with firms considered to get excessively few, if any, distaff decision-makers.

“We are using our influence as investors through our engagement activities, to address this (diversity) in all markets, developed and emerging,” Fill in Duffy, Head teacher of Firm Governance, told Reuters.

“We will vote against all-male boards where there is no communication of plans to seek to appoint women to the board in the near future,” AXA IM’s Duffy added.

This reflected its ball-shaped committedness to improving multifariousness among the hundreds of companies it owns wager in, as start of a larger program to driving force greater invention and goad higher returns.

As of April 30, the numerate of ‘oppose’ votes AXA IM has logged in yearly shareowner meetings this class has risen rexona to 25 from 1 finish year, as a resultant of the Modern policy.

The dissent covers shareholder resolutions, ranging from votes against the Annual Written report and Accounts to the re-election of the chairperson or the chairwoman of the nominations committee.

Duffy declined to advert the firms AXA IM has opposed, pending communicating with the relevant companies and directors.

“Our aspiration here (is) not just about leadership or the visible face of a company – it is about the broader workforce and the progression of women to roles where they can influence strategy and performance,” Duffy aforementioned.

“The board is just the tip of the iceberg,” she added.

News of AXA IM’s balloting intentions comes as executives facial expression investors at annual worldwide meetings, a meeting place for breeding concerns astir the style a ship’s company is flow or is performing.

It follows a interchangeable movement by Collection & Oecumenical Investing Management, unrivalled of Britain’s biggest money managers, which conclusion month aforesaid it would voting against chairs of boards which had fewer than 25 per centum female membership.

A jurisprudence introduced survive twelvemonth in U.K. requires companies and charities with Sir Thomas More than 250 workers – cover just about half of its men – to cover their gender compensate gap, which in Britain stands at 18.4 percentage.

DIVERSITY PREMIUM

AXA IM has a custom of push companies to regard reforms that advance meliorate running conditions, greater wish of the environs and meliorate world health.

In 2016 it became the number 1 Major investment company fast to denote it would Bachelor of Arts in Nursing completely New investments in the baccy industry, which light-emitting diode to a 1.8 billion-euros betray polish off of tobacco plant bonds and stocks.

That followed a 500 jillion euro ($602 million) divestment from companies with a eminent amour in coal-germane activities in 2015, in logical argument with the wider group’s embodied province strategy on clime interchange.

AXA IM as well launched a store in February 2017, LED by Anne Tolmunen, which it hopes testament show how companies with stronger gender diversity give the axe bear higher returns.

The AXA WF Merge in Perspectives Stock is targeting outperformance of the MSCI Wholly Body politic Domain Power by selecting globose companies WHO take in at least 20 per centum female person internal representation at room and administrator layer and a broader committedness to attain grammatical gender balance wheel across their workforces.

Atlas Copco, Facebook, Microsoft, Statoil and Camber of America are among the AXA WF Shuffle fund’s circus tent 10 positions. At the close of March, it had delivered a 12.8 per centum come back since its plunge. ($1 = 0.8309 euros) (Reporting by Sinead Cruise and Simon Zelotes Jessop Redaction by Horse parsley Smith)

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