ECGS (European Corporate Governance Service) the leading European proxy voting partnership welcomes Shareholder Support, the independent Dutch proxy advisory firm that will join as new partner on 1st October.

At the same time, Proxinvest, the French partner, will take over as Managing Partner from PIRC, the UK leading independent proxy research and advisory consultancy, after eight years of successful management of the partnership.

Jella Benner-Heinacher, Chairman of ECGS and managing director of DSW (Deutsche Schutzvereinigung für Wertpapierebesitz) said “The Dutch consultant Shareholder Support, under the lead of Gerard Mertens, Professor at Erasmus University of Rotterdam, will enhance local expertise which is the value added of ECGS. The new partner will contribute to ensuring a high level service of proxy voting advice for institutional shareowners”.

After having served successfully for ten years, PIRC will hand over the function of ECGS Managing Partner on 1st October to Proxinvest, the French proxy research company based in Paris. Pierre-Henri Leroy, Chairman of Proxinvest, said "It is now acknowledged that self-regulation failed and that new measures should be taken to prevent a financial crisis from happening again. Investors need to be more cautious and institutions should be better equipped to avoid conflicts of interest that could put the value of their assets at risk. It is a real challenge for us to take over as Managing Partner from PIRC to continue providing the investor community with high quality services based on local expertise".

European Corporate Governance Servicen (ECGS)

ECGS is a joint venture of independent local market experts providing institutional investors with corporate governance research and proxy voting advice on listed companies in Europe. www.ecgs.net

ECGS Partners

Ethos

Ethos, Swiss Foundation for Sustainable Development, was created in February 1997 by two Geneva-based pension funds and is currently composed of more than ninety institutional investors. Its purpose is to promote socially responsible investment and a stable, prosperous socio-economic environment.

The Ethos Foundation is a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and participates in several international investor groups, in particular the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). In 2009, Ethos received the ICGN Award for its significant contribution to the improvement of corporate governance in its region.

The Foundation fully owns the company Ethos Services, which conducts all investment and consulting activities. Ethos Services is specialized in socially responsible investment and offers the following services:

  • Mutual funds and discretionary mandates managed according to a socially responsible investment approach with assets of 1.9 billion USD under management in collaboration with several leading asset managers
  • Analyses of shareholder general meetings with voting recommendations and voting assistance: 150 Swiss and 500 European, North American, Asian and Australian companies are analysed
  • Engagement programme with Swiss listed companies on behalf of 50 Swiss pension funds

Ethos Services has offices in Geneva and Zurich. It is the Swiss partner in the European Corporate Governance Service (ECGS) network of proxy voting advisors and member of the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN). Ethos Services owns a 20-percent-stake at Proxinvest, a French corporate governance consultant.