25 Apr 2024 2 min read

Active ownership: engagement that matters

By Michelle Scrimgeour

People all over the world endured a difficult 2023, a year marked by geopolitical conflict, rising interest rates and inflationary pressures.

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Extreme weather events during the hottest year ever recorded1 underscored the very real threat that climate change poses to people, nature and our entire planet. Rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI) proved a potential bright spot, placing us on the cusp of a new era of innovation. But just as the technology is ushering in vast opportunities, it also presents manifold risks.

In this challenging and fast-moving context, we believe asset managers play a central role in ensuring the responsible allocation of capital, from tackling the climate crisis to addressing inequality. In our 13th annual Active Ownership report you’ll read about the actions we took during the year.

Key initiatives included an engagement campaign focused on the living wage; working with companies and policymakers to ensure AI develops safely; and our global partnership with Lewis Pugh, UN Patron of the Oceans, to raise awareness of the devastating impact of climate change.

Our Investment Stewardship team sharpened its strategic focus last year by identifying the six ‘super themes’ that will inform discussions about environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in the years to come. The team’s resources were increased, reflecting its growing importance to LGIM.

In the report, you’ll see examples of how we exercised voting rights across our entire book of assets, while engaging with companies, policymakers and other stakeholders.

Last year, we stepped up our efforts on human rights, diversity and deforestation. We’ll cover these areas in detail to show how our policies have evolved. We’ll also demonstrate where we were successful in raising standards at individual companies and across markets. And where our efforts haven’t yet succeeded in delivering positive change, we’ll acknowledge this. As well as raising awareness of our engagement work during 2023, this report is also our response to the UK Stewardship Code for the Financial Reporting Council.

Innovating in responsible investment remains core to our agenda, and has led us to build a number of new responsible investing solutions to meet growing demands from our clients. During 2023, 17 of the funds we launched were ESG-related, and we now manage £378.1 billion in strategies explicitly linked to ESG criteria.2 Working on behalf of our clients, we undertook a vast array of engagement activities in 2023. We have a duty as a leading responsible investor3 to consider how best to use our influence on behalf of our clients and our shared purpose knits together the many strands of our work – creating a better future through responsible investing.

Read our report here.

Key risk: The value of an investment and any income taken from it is not guaranteed and can go down as well as up, you may not get back the amount you originally invested.


1. Met Office, 2023: The warmest year on record globally, January 2024.

2. As at 31 December 2023. AUM in responsible investment strategies represents only the AUM from funds or client mandates that feature a deliberate and positive expression of ESG criteria, in the fund documentation for pooled fund structures or in a client’s Investment Management Agreement. LGIM’s total AUM (on the basis of client direct investments and excluding any double count from fund of fund holdings, and including the value of securities and derivatives positions) at this date was £1.159 trillion, meaning responsible investment strategies represented approximately 33% of the total.

3. See the awards section of our 2023 Active ownership report on page 109.

Michelle Scrimgeour

CEO, Legal & General Investment Management

Michelle was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) in July 2019. Michelle has spent her career at major global firms and has extensive asset management experience across investments, distribution, product, operations, risk and control functions. Before joining LGIM, Michelle was Chief Executive Officer, EMEA, at Columbia Threadneedle Investments. Michelle is on the Board of the Investment Association and a member of the FCA’s Practitioner Panel, and is co-chair of the COP26 Business Leaders Group.

Michelle Scrimgeour