Cushon gives members a say on ESG issues

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Cushon and Tumelo have partnered to enable savers to vote on ESG resolutions taking place at the companies in which their money is invested, because "they are, through the funds they invest in, indirect shareholders".

The investment and pension provider and the fintech firm say that 62% of pension members want to vote on how companies that their pension is invested in are run, and the proportion is even higher among the under-25s.

Under the new function, Cushon savers’ vote preferences will be collated by Tumelo and fed to the fund manager, who will then put the official vote forward on investors’ behalf at companies' annual general meetings. The overall voting results are also shared with users once the vote is closed.

“A growing number of investors are starting to demand a more active role in their investments. They want good returns but not at the expense of the environment," said Ben Pollard, CEO of Cushon.

“In particular, people are extremely concerned about climate change and other issues affecting the planet, and they want action. To help tackle this issue, we’ve recently launched the world’s first Net Zero Now pension and so allowing investors to have a say in wider ESG issues, including climate change, is a logical step forward for us,” he added.

Georgia Stewart, CEO of Tumelo said: “It’s no longer just a matter of investment returns - people are starting to understand that their investments can be a powerful force for good and they can have a say, through their fund managers, in some of the key issues such as climate change, gender equality and human rights.”

Cushon's plans were first revealed last month by Cushon trustee Andrew Warwick-Thompson, who said: “It's their money, so they ought to have some sort of say.” 

Warwick-Thompson, who also chairs the Scottish Widows Master Trust, then disclosed that "Scottish Widows will roll out something very similar”.

Do you expect other providers to follow?
Georgia Stewart
Will Goodwin
Mike Clark