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Japanese Pension Fund Association appoints Hermes

18 March 2016

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One of Japan's largest pension funds has appointed Hermes EOS to develop and implement its stewardship activities.

The Pension Fund Association of Japan, which has 12.7 trillion yen ($112 billion) in assets under management, will become the first Japanese client for Hermes EOS.

Hans-Christoph Hirt, co-head of Hermes EOS, said: "We are honoured to have been selected by one of Japan's largest pension funds to provide our stewardship services and look forward to working with Japanese companies on PFA's behalf."

"This comes at a crucial time for stewardship and corporate governance in Japan and we are delighted to be a part of these important developments."

Japan introduced its Stewardship Code, The Principles for Responsible Institutional Investors, in 2014.

This was followed by the country's first ever Corporate Governance Code, which came into force in June 2015.

Hermes EOS was involved in the development and promotion of the two codes and together with Hermes Investment Management was one of the first signatories to the Stewardship Code.

Colin Melvin, chair of Hermes EOS and global head of stewardship at Hermes Investment Management, said: "The introduction of the stewardship and corporate governance codes has produced a step change in the relationship between Japanese companies and their shareholder."

"We have already seen a change in our dialogue with Japanese companies and our appointment by PFA presents an opportunity to advance the stewardship agenda in Japan and sets a strong example for its peers."

Daisuke Hamaguchi, chief investment officer at the Pension Fund Association, said: "At a high level, our focus is to improve the transparency and efficiency of Japan's capital markets in order to attract more investors, not only from within Japan but also from overseas."

Hermes EOS recently appointed Masaru Arai as senior engagement consultant.

Based in Japan, he will focus on engagements in the country on behalf of Hermes EOS and its clients.

First published 18.03.2016