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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 consultation on an updated code was launched by the FRC on 30 January 2019 and closed on 29 March. The Stewardship Code 2020 and Feedback Statement: Consulting on a revised UK Stewardship Code were published on 24 October 2019, as announced in the press release Revised and strengthened UK Stewardship Code sets new world-leading benchmark

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.

Primer: the UK Stewardship Code

Article gives an overview of the significance of the UK Stewardship Code and how recent changes will impact asset management .

UK regulators make further strides in responsible stewardship and investing

The article outlines the key changes in the UK Stewardship Code 2020, or the New Code, affecting investors and asset managers.

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.

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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

Building an regulatory framework for effective stewardship 
Joint FRC/FCA discussion paper, published January 2019. The paper looks at what effective stewardship looks like, expectations for financial services firms and how the UK regulatory framework can best support this.

Developments in Corporate Governance and Stewardship 2017/18
This annual report by the Financial Reporting Council covers developments in corporate governance and stewardship over the previous twelve months. The previous reports can be found on 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


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.


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.

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.



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

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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