The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association publishes monthly topical questions to aid trustees in considering the effectiveness of their managers’ stewardship activity. We encourage funds to ask these questions during their regular manager reviews in an effort to understand their managers’ approaches and activities and to ensure that they are adhering to the stewardship policies.
JUNE'S TOPICAL QUESTION FOR YOUR MANAGER
Background: Sports Direct founder and Deputy Chair Mike Ashley’s appearance at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills Select Committee attracted widespread media attention this week, as a result of Ashley’s introspective attitude to his oversight of the company and his claim that he was not aware of some of the more controversial employment practices at Sports Direct operations. The company fell out of the FTSE 100 earlier this year amidst criticism of the accountability of Ashley and senior colleagues at Sports Direct (Ashley’s daughter’s boyfriend to a key management position) and the treatment of warehouse employees
Question: What issues have you raised with Sports Direct regarding their treatment of their workers and their corporate governance? Do you ask boards or management at investee companies how they understand the culture of their company and how it operates at the ‘shopfloor’ level?
Read previous questions here.