Inquiry into pension fund voting

PENSION FUNDS yesterday launched a full-scale inquiry into why so few funds vote in ballots of shareholders. The inquiry follows warnings from the Government that voting could be made compulsory. Yve Newbold, former company secretary for Hanson, will head the inquiry, which will look at why only 40 per cent of institutional shares are voted, against over 70 per cent in the US.

The Department of Trade and Industry warned in March that legislation may be introduced to force institutions to vote their shares. But pension funds such as Hermes and Sainsbury's have complained of problems such as votes failing to be registered when they had already been cast. The inquiry will report in June.

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