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The FairPensions Blog

Guest posts represent the views of the author and not necessarily those of FairPensions.

New Year's Resolutions


Less than 2 weeks into the new year and already 2012 is shaping up to be our busiest and most exciting year yet. Below are just some of our forthcoming projects.

With the number of people in working poverty in the UK increasing, and half of children living in poverty having parents who work, we are still going strong with our Living Wage campaign and have full support from many London companies and give fair wages for fair work. We're working with investors to put the pressure on big names in the FTSE 100 and a number of companies have already come over the line. We're expecting some further announcements shortly.


Another busy year at FairPensions


It's been a hectic, eventful and succesful year at FairPensions.

With the support of our investor coalition we brought up the issue of low pay with each of Britain's 100 biggest listed companies. We highlighted the business case for companies who pay Living Wages as well as focussing on the severe consequences that low pay has on the families of the 21% of workers who earn below the Living Wage. 

Companies and investors should be thinking about biodiversity

     Environmental issues such as climate change and pollution have been given increasing attention in the world of business over the last decade, yet issues surrounding biodiversity have received little focus in comparison. The 2nd Global Business of Biodiversity Symposium was held on 28th November 2011 in London, with the title "Protecting the bottom line...Naturally!" in an attempt to address this.

Occupy London

    The Occupy movement, that has swept the globe in recent months, has been a wake up call to the financial world. No longer can the institutions of The City of London and other global financial centres operate without the close analysis of the public.  

FairPensions' Guest Lecture 2011

     Last week FairPensions hosted its third annual lecture in the House of Commons. The lecture was given by Keith Ambachtsheer, Director of the Rotman Insitutute for Pension Management. Professor Ambachtsheer, who has worked in pensions and investment since he left the Canadian Armed Forces in 1968, told a packed Grand Committee Room of his belief that pension funds can and must shape the future of capitalism:

"Can pension funds shape the future of capitalism?" he asked. "Yes we can". He answered.

Slow and steady wins the race

     Although I'd never heard of Gervais Williams, his recently published Slow Finance: Why Investment Miles Matter is a book I've been waiting for. Some years ago I started an appropriately meandering conversation with a recovering fund manager about how the principles of the ‘slow movement' (think Slow Food; Slow Travel; Slow Design) might apply to investment. As is often the way with such thought experiments we didn't end up taking practical steps to advance the idea at the time. Fortunately, Gervais Williams has been more industrious and his book is an excellent read.

The real puzzle about executive pay

  Last Friday it was revealed that the pay of FTSE 100 executives rose by almost 50% last year. The overwhelming impression for me was one of deja vu: last October saw a parallel media storm after the same research company announced that CEOs' pay had risen by 55% over the previous year. (This year's study referred to all boardroom pay, not just that of the CEO, whose pay this year rose by a mere 43%.)

Fair and balanced?

While the media and twitter-verse were busy last  night   covering the Conservative party backbench rebellion on Europe, the results of another revolt - the votes from the News Corporation AGM held on Friday - were being made available in New York. The results will not have made pleasant reading for either of James or Lachlan Murdoch. Indeed, so extensive was the backlash amongst the non-Murdoch shareholders that it's easy to see why the results were not announced until after the weekend when the news cycle had begun its inevitable move on. Maybe it's because the AGM was held on the Fox studio lot but one can't help thinking that that the delay in revealing what effectively amounted to votes of no confidence in a number of  directors from independent shareholders was the corporate equivalent of a movie studio preventing critics advance viewing of a bad movie so as to maintain the possibility of a good opening weekend.