NEW YORK, NY (December 18, 2018)—The Investor Stewardship Group, an investor-led initiative comprising 60 of the largest U.S.-based institutional investors and global asset managers representing in excess of US$31 trillion AUM, marks the one year anniversary of its Framework for U.S. Stewardship and Governance on January 1, 2019.
“We achieved more this year than we imagined possible,” said Allison Bennington, Partner and Chief Global Affairs Officer at ValueAct Capital. “Quadrupling in size from the original 16 founding members to a membership of 60 investors of various types is a testament to the Framework. In addition, the Framework has been endorsed as the definitive U.S. corporate governance code.” It has been published in the CFA Institute’s 3rd Edition of Corporate Governance of Listed Companies, A Manual for Investors; the International Corporate Governance Network, which links to the Framework; and included in Ernst & Young’s 2017 report on stewardship codes.
ISG was formed in January 2017 to develop the Framework—a foundational set of basic standards of investment stewardship and corporate governance for U.S. institutional investors and boardroom conduct.
“Not only has the investment community readily endorsed the Framework, ISG has also established a partnership with the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, which serves as the Framework’s home. ISG has been fortunate to partner with the Weinberg Center,” said Matthew DiGuiseppe, Vice President, Head of Americas on the Asset Stewardship Team at State Street Global Advisors. “The Weinberg Center is working with ISG on its ongoing governance, creating a process for future revisions to the Framework, facilitating our communications strategy and convening meetings and conferences.”
ISG established its own internal governance structure in 2018, including:
Beyond these achievements, the Framework gained significant traction from investors seeking to encourage companies to disclose how their governance practices aligned with or differed from the Framework.
“We were thrilled when the first companies—Prudential Financial, State Street Corporation, and Regions Financial Corporation—chose to disclose this information and set great examples for all companies to consider,” said Aeisha Mastagni, Corporate Governance Portfolio Manager at California State Teachers’ Retirement System.
“At a time when some corporate interest groups are questioning the value of shareholder engagement and advocating ways to diminish the voice of investors, the members of ISG strongly support the principles upon which ISG was founded: a long-term investment orientation with constructive dialogue between corporations and their investors, responsible stewardship by investors, and support for the basic standards of good corporate governance,” said Donna Anderson, Vice President and Head of Global Corporate Governance at T. Rowe Price.
“As one important way to achieve these goals, ISG and the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance will be holding the First Annual ISG/Corporate Issuers Conference on September 13, 2019, on the University of Delaware campus. This will be an important educational and networking opportunity for investors, board members and other corporate representatives,” stated Ms. Anderson.
About the Investor Stewardship Group:
The Investor Stewardship Group is a continually growing investor-led effort that includes some of the largest U.S.-based institutional investors and global asset managers, along with several of their international counterparts. The members include 60 U.S. and international institutional investors with combined assets in excess of US$31 trillion in the U.S. equity markets. ISG was formed as a sustained initiative to establish a framework of basic investment stewardship and corporate governance standards for U.S. institutional investor and boardroom conduct. To learn more, please visit: www.isgframework.org