TRADE and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt has called on other institutional investors to follow the Co-operative Insurance Society's approach to responsible shareholding.
Last year CIS, which is committed to actively engaging with companies in which it invests, was the first UK investor to put its entire voting record on its website.
Speaking to fund managers at a Stewardship and Performance seminar in London, the Secretary of State at the Department of Trade said that it was time to assert the principle that fund managers have a responsibility as well as a right to be active owners.
`Whether through voluntary codes or regulation, we need to create a chain of transparency and accountability that stretches from the boardroom to the individual shareholder and saver, via the pension manager, trustee and individual investor.
`CIS, for instance, uses the Internet to display and explain their voting record for their policyholders ? and everyone else ? to see. I hope that others will follow suit in a way that combines transparency with the good relationships required to be good investors.`
Added the Minister: `I believe we have some of the beast businesses and investors in the world. Innovative, profitable and socially and environmentally responsible. But we need more of them.
`By empowering the people who actually own so much of the British economy, we can help to deliver better business, better jobs and a better quality of life for all of us.`