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Shareholders for Change

New industry body Shareholders for Change (SfC), has announced plans to put one large company on notice for aggressive tax evasion methods in the coming months. This group, which consists of smaller institutional investors from Italy, Austria, Spain, Germany and France, aims to engage on a number of important ESG issues. While the group of investors only manage roughly $22bn in assets, they hope their initiatives will promote change in governance practices, while also giving a voice to the smaller investors of the world.

“We want to cover ESG topics that are not as much in the spotlight, including human rights, workers’ rights and also aggressive tax evasion,” said Tommy Piemonte, head of sustainability research at Germany’s Bank für Kirche und Caritas, one of the founding members of SfC.

While change is the central goal, the group also realizes that size matters. Mauro Meggiolaro, among other representatives, pointed out that many of the shareholder engagement platforms have become too big and bureaucratic, leading to smaller investors losing their voices. By banding together, Shareholders for Change looks to unite smaller institutional investors and highlight issues that pose financial risks to the investment communities.