The UK Stewardship Code: Bridging the Gap Between Companies and Institutional Investors

Konstantinos Sergakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

The exercise of stewardship respon
sibilities by institutional investors has
become an important emerging and
widely- debated topic, especially due to its
potential to reform corporate governance
culture. Its ultimate objective appears to
be change in how investment is thought
of and carried out, in order to optimise
the functioning of fi nancial markets and
to sustain companies’ existence and
investors’ portfolio value in the long
term. Investors can contribute towards
this objective if they engage effectively
with companies and achieve a convincing
level of interaction in order to express
concerns about what they expect from
their investments and how the investee
company should be managed. The bar-
rier that hampers this objective is the
growing distance between investors and
companies, which has created a gap in
terms of communication, understanding
and cooperation. Financial intermedia-
tion has made cooperation between these
two parties more diffi cult, and therefore
needs to be revisited.
Regulation is able to intervene indi-
rectly to infl uence this ongoing relation-
ship by requiring that investors, especially
institutional ones and their asset manag-
ers, become more transparent in how
they conceive their role and how they
carry out their business. In this respect,
the UK Stewardship Code was intro-
duced in 2010 and revised in 2012. It
addresses these issues and aims to
become a point of reference for investors
in order to assist them in achieving
broader and more advanced engagement
with companies. This paper aims to anal-
yse the benefi ts of the Code, as well as to
address remaining problematic issues,
which, once dealt with, will help the UK
regulatory framework achieve optimal
impact on the market. It will further
explore the way forward in order to
improve the current framework and
explore new fi elds of research in this area.
Part I will analyse and explore the cur-
rent status of the Stewardship Code. Part
II will analyse the shortfalls of the Code
and will strive to propose future amend-
ments. Part III will concentrate on wider
market- related issues associated with the
Stewardship Code, which, once resolved,
will increase its effective adoption and
acceptance by the market. Part IV will
conclude the debate and evaluate the
contribution of the Stewardship Code in
improving the relationship between
companies and investors.
Translated title of the contributionThe UK Stewardship Code: Bridging the Gap Between Companies and Institutional Investors
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)109-154
Number of pages46
JournalRevue juridique Thémis de l’Université de Montreal
Volume47
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2013

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