Since the financial crisis, regulators have put emphasis on encouraging institutional investors to take their governance responsibilities more seriously. In the UK, the Stewardship Code was introduced to enhance the engagement of institutional investors with shareholdings in UK listed companies. In the literature, institutional investors have been predominantly conceptualised as owners, although a number of authors have rejected this view, arguing that traders would be more appropriate. The UK Stewardship Code adds a third view: the institutional investor as steward. The literature generally considers the stewardship concept to be the ownership role combined with wider stakeholder responsibilities. By focussing primarily on this new stakeholder element, this study examines empirically the new stewardship concept by undertaking a content analysis of the published Stewardship Statements of 81 asset managers. The results find support for both the ownership and stewardship role but also highlight significant variations in practices that point toward different competitive strategies.
Oxford Brookes Business School
Year of publication: 2022Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-01-14
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