Pension and investment fund managers — and those employees whose savings they control — have huge scope to influence responsible corporate behaviour around social and environmental practices such as health and safety and labour standards, argues Neal Stone.

The Financial Times on 4 April 2015 reported on a dilemma faced by many equity fund managers, including pension fund managers: when confronted with the seeds of disaster at a company, do they sell its shares or speak out?

The report makes clear that a decade ago, many fund managers would have chosen selling the stock rather than sticking with the investment and doing more to prevent the company’s eventual meltdown.

Much of the report is based on the work of a charity called Share Action, formerly Fair Pensions. Share Action is committed to campaigning for “responsible investment” — an approach “that has enormous potential to advance corporate accountability and address environmental and social wrongs, while maintaining good returns for fund members”.

While t

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