Agenda item


In accordance with Fund’s investment objectives in the 2020/21 Business Plan.



Declarations of interest:




Mamon Zaman, Senior Pensions Finance Specialist

David Crum – Minerva

Sarah Wilson - Minerva


Key points raised during the discussion:


1.    The Senior Pensions Finance Specialist introduced a report explaining that a co-signed letter had been written to the Brazilian embassy in relation to deforestation in Brazil, attached as annex 1 the report.  Also, Minerva had provided a report on issues experienced last quarter around voting. The Investor groups had since met with Brazilian authorities to discuss further outcomes. A positive short-term outcome was that Brazil banned forest fires for the four months of dry season and set up military operations due to this investor pressure. Due to the success of this investor dialogue, a working group had been set up to continue this work going forward, of which the Fund has chosen to participate in going forward.

2.    David Crum updated the Committee that Minerva has still been unable to go back to the office to check through the paperwork but they intended to do.  Some analysis had been done on meetings missed:

·         There had been 45 companies meetings where Surrey votes were not cast.  Of those meetings there were:

·          782  individual resolutions that Surrey could have voted on

·         702 of those Surrey would have voted in favour

·         56 Surrey would have voted against

·         There would have been very few abstentions

·         There were no instances where Surrey’s vote, if given, would have swayed the outcome on those resolutions one way or another.

  1. Sarah Wilson spoke to Members about the issue that had arisen over securities lending as outlined in annex 2 to the submitted report.  Further procedures had been put in place in terms of mandate changes to ensure that there are more eyes to do the sign off on any mandate changes.  New elements had also been introduced to the stock lending support service so they could identify contentious upcoming meetings which may have an impact on stock lending so that clients could exercise their right to vote to retain the revenue of stock lending or to maintain the balance.  Apologies were given but lessons had been learned and things were back on track.
  2. A Member asked if it was only Surrey affected by the voting issue and why are stocks borrowed.  Sarah Wilson responded that Surrey was the only one affected.  David Crum explained stock lending in terms of assuring liquidity and would impact on the price and from Surrey’s perspective, stock lending was good.  However, short selling had received some bad press. Sarah Wilson reported that a good practice guidance around stock lending had recently been published.
  3. A Member spoke of caution needed as stock lending may affect contentious voting.


Actions/ further information to be provided:






1.    That ESG Factors were fundamental to the Fund’s approach, consistent with the Mission Statement through was affirmed;

·         Continuing to enhance its own Responsible Investment Approach, its Company Engagement policy, and SDG alignment with its external provider Minerva Analytics.

·         Commending the outcomes achieved for quarter ending 30 June 2020 by Robeco in their Active Ownership approach and the LAPFF in its Engagement with multinational companies as at 30 June 2020.

2.    That Minerva’s Voting Services Issue Update report in Annexe 2, was noted.


Reason for decision:

In accordance with The Fund’s Mission Statement, as well as its Investment Strategic Objectives, the Fund is required to fulfil its fiduciary duty to protect the value of the Pension Fund, to meet its pension obligations. Part of this involves consideration of its wider responsibilities in Responsible Investment as well as how it exercises its influence through engaging as active shareholders.


Supporting documents: