Investors View Themselves as Agents of Change

edelmanlogoIRmagEdelman 2017 Trust Barometer Special Report: Institutional Investors captures insights from a powerful group of global institutional investors. It provides the results of their research, completed in partnership with Ipreo, which surveyed chief investment officers, portfolio managers and buy-side analysts across 14 countries whose firms collectively manage more than $1 trillion in assets using various investment styles.

The research supplemented Edelman’s respected Trust Barometer launched annually in January at the World Economic Forum. Now in its 17th year, the Trust Barometer measures global trust in four main institutions: business, government, media, and NGOs.

Edelman’s Institutional Investor research is based on an online survey of 101 institutional investors. Respondent breakdown represented firms that manage assets ranging from less than $500 million to more than $50 billion USD. Data fieldwork was conducted by Edelman Intelligence between June 20 and July 18, 2017.


Institutional investors say they take an active stance with respect to the companies in which they invest. Investors surveyed view themselves as agents of change, with nearly half (49%) believing their firm’s actions can play a meaningful role in influencing a company’s corporate governance.
Further, institutional investors overwhelmingly admit their willingness to support activist investors. Seven in eight say they will support a reputable activist investor if they believe change is necessary at a company in which they invest.
Additionally, 80% say that most companies are not prepared to handle activists’ campaigns targeted at them, a response that should concern management teams and boards.
While environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks ranked low as factors driving investment decisions, one in three investors say they are becoming more attentive to ESG and have changed their voting and/or engagement policies regarding these issues. Companies must be prepared for ESG to draw increasing focus among investors.


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