With the publication of the 2020 Annual Review of engagement and voting highlights by EOS at Federated Hermes, Dr Hans-Christoph Hirt, Head of EOS, reflects on the pandemic and the stewardship lessons for companies and investors.
At the start of 2020, few of us could have envisaged the dramatic changes to our daily lives wreaked by the Covid-19 pandemic. As governments scrambled to impose national lockdowns to protect public health, it soon became clear that the coronavirus would have far-reaching impacts on individuals and families, businesses and employees, the global economy, and society as a whole.
The human and economic cost of the pandemic has been staggering. To date, over two million people have died, and the global death toll continues to rise. The International Monetary Fund has forecast that global GDP will contract by 4.4% in 2020, and public debt is at record levels in many countries.
We see two key lessons for investor stewardship, and for tackling future sustainability challenges and crises.