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The UK Stewardship Code

The Walker Report recommended that the Financial Reporting Council's remit should be extended to cover a code of best practice in stewardship by institutional investors and fund managers. The FRC launched a consultation on the content, operation and oversight of a stewardship code in January 2010 and the first Stewardship Code for institutional investors was published on 2 July 2010.

The Code

The FRC published a revised UK Stewardship Code and Feedback statement: Revisions to the UK Stewardship Code on 28 September 2012, as announced in the press release FRC publishes updates to UK Corporate Governance Code and Stewardship Code.

In 2016, the FRC assessed signatories to the Stewardship Code based on the quality of the statements and categorised them into tiers. This exercise was undertaken to improve the transparency of reporting and  has also improved the quality of reporting against the code and promoted best practice. Asset managers were categorised into three tiers (tier three was later removed); asset owners  and service providers in two tiers.

The revised code is due to be published in early 2019.

Online articles

The Library provides access to leading business, finance and management journals. These journals are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users subject to suppliers' terms of use.

Shareholders and corporate scrutiny: The role of the UK Stewardship Code

Considers whether a more systematic and continuous relationship between institutional shareholders and management is about to evolve through the UK Stewardship Code.

Under the microscope

Paul Golden looks at corporate governance in the UK a year on from the publication of the UK Stewardship Code, and asks whether the Code has produced any real improvements.

New Stewardship Code looks set to augment shareholder value

An overview of the Stewardship Code's purpose and aims.

Useful links


Improving engagement practices by companies and institutional investors 
Consultation document published in October 2012 by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) in conjunction with the 2020 Investor Stewardship Working Party. 

The ICSA Steering Group published the resulting guidance in March 2013 - Enhancing stewardship dialogue.

Reports and guidance

Adherence to the FRC's Stewardship Code 
The Investment Management Association's (IMA) annual  report on adherence to the FRC’s Stewardship Code looks at the activities that support institutional investors’ commitment to the Code, in the preceding period. See also the archive of surveys.

Developments in Corporate Governance and Stewardship 2016
This annual report by the Financial Reporting Council, published in January 2016, covers developments in corporate governance and stewardship over the previous twelve months. The previous reports can be found at the bottom of the Developments in Corporate Governance and Stewardship page of the FRC website.

2020 Stewardship: Improving the quality of investor stewardship 
Report published in March 2012 by the 2020 Investor Stewardship Working Party which contains recommendations for improving engagement practices by companies and investors. The Working Party has asked ICSA 'to take forward two of the report’s recommendations, by developing a good practice guide to improve the quality of engagement activity, and identifying more ways for companies and institutional investors to seek and provide feedback on the quality of meetings'.

Archive reports and guidance


In April 2012 the FRC launched a review of the UK Stewardship Code. The full text of the consultation paper, Revisions to the UK Stewardship Code, and the Draft revised UK Stewardship Code are available from the FRC website. The consultation period closed on 13 July 2012.


Developments in corporate governance 2011: The impact and implementation of the UK Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes 
Report published in December 2011 from the FRC analysing implementation of the codes.


The UK Stewardship Code and Implementation of the UK Stewardship Code were published by the FRC on 2 July 2010. The publication of the code was announced in the press release Financial Reporting Council publishes first UK Stewardship Code.


Code on the responsibilities of institutional investors 
Code of responsibility for investors published by the Institutional Shareholders’ Committee (ISC). The code was announced in a press release on 16 November 2009 and was intended to 'help investors become more effective in their dealings with companies in which they invest.'

Articles and books in the Library collection

Selected articles

Shareholder activism  
Economia, No.4. May 2012. pp.46-49
Looks at shareholder activism, particularly prevalent at the moment due to the perceived excesses of executive pay and bonuses. Provides some case histories and considers the difference between shareholder activists and active shareholders among institutional investors. Examines the role of The UK Stewardship Code and The UK Corporate Governance Code.

On the front line 
Chartered Secretary, December 2011. pp.33-34
Presents an investor's views on the Stewardship Code. Issues discussed include: engagement of institutional investors in the companies they have interests in; whether the Stewardship Code has changed behaviour; whether there is an alternative to the Stewardship Code; whether the annual report has a role to play in enhancing communications between companies and shareholders.

All change? 
Chartered Secretary, December 2011. pp.30-33
The UK Stewardship Code, published in July 2010, aims to enhance engagement between companies and their shareholders. Over a year from then, has it made a difference? This article is in two parts: part 1 is by a company secretary, and part 2 by a registrar.

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