We believe that responsible investment is best embodied by the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). To confirm our approach to responsible investing, we are a signatory to the PRI, and are committed to its six guiding principles.
Our Responsible Investment Process consists of two key pillars:
2. ESG Integration
Firstly, we perform a negative screen on potential investment opportunities; seeking to exclude investments in product areas that we do not wish to finance; this leads to the exclusion of companies involved in controversial weapons and tobacco products for example1.
Secondly, we require our investment teams to fully integrate ESG considerations into their investment processes.
To ensure that a robust approach is implemented, we have engaged with Sustainalytics, a global leader in ESG research and ratings. Sustainalytics’ research provides us with insight regarding product involvement and a detailed analysis of a company’s ESG risk factors.
Further, we are committed to proxy voting in the best interest of our investors and accordingly engage with the management of companies in which we invest to ensure that our investors’ assets are invested in well-managed companies which exhibit good governance and deliver shareholder value.
In order to facilitate the proxy voting process in an efficient manner, we have engaged Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”), a leading proxy voting provider. ISS recognise that in addition to financial objectives, investors also require that the companies in which they invest conduct their business in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. ISS’s Social Advisory Services division ensures that both of these objectives carry through to socially responsible voting activity.
ISS provides research and analysis covering the invested universe for all of our managed portfolios, monitoring incoming ballots, performing ballot-to account reconciliations, providing recommendations based on each agenda item and vote by proxy for any unvoted ballots through their online portal.
Recommendations and research are made available to each Investment Adviser who determines whether to accept ISS’ recommendation or to vote independently.
Full details regarding our Voting Rights Policy are available here with voting information accessible here.
Ultimately, we want to offer our investors access to the best investment ideas, within a framework that seeks to achieve better environmental, society and governance outcomes.
1 A full list of our excluded product areas is available to download here.