New Hermes chief signals increased shareholder activism

Hermes, the manager of Britain’s biggest pension fund, has signalled its
intention to get tough with companies on corporate governance after appointing
one of America’s leading shareholder activists as its next chief executive.

Mark Anson will take over as the head of Hermes, which manages £58bn of funds
including BT’s pension scheme and large parts of the Royal Mail’s, when current
chief Tony Watson retires in January.

Anson, current chief investment office of the Californian Public Employees
Retirement System, Americas largest pension fund, is well known for his
shareholder activism. In the past he has taken on Morgan Stanley’s chief
executive Philip Purcell over his pay package and recently launched attacks on
several companies, including Shell, over links with Sudan.

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