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  • Cited by 2
  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: November 2019

41 - Shareholder Stewardship

from Part IV - Potential Drivers for Change


This chapter highlights the potential for national, international and EU stewardship developments to bring a ‘public’ coloration into investor-led governance. Departing from previous monolithic views that couch shareholder stewardship as a self-regulating, dis-embedded market mechanism solely protecting and enhancing shareholder primacy, the chapter applies a neo-Polanyian analytical framework and identifies shareholder stewardship as a policy counter-movement that operationalises socially responsible investing and environmental, social and governance investing through shareholder engagement. However, for current stewardship policies to engender fundamental behavioural changes in investment practices, some systematic regulatory intervention which will not result from bottom-up forces and market demand for investor-led norms is necessary. Ways to promote a strong sustainability approach to stewardship include the imposition of regulatory duties and mandatory disclosure regimes. The possibilities for regulatory alternatives may remain fluid, I argue, but it is important for the means of shareholder stewardship to meet its ends.