Stewardship is the responsible allocation, management and oversight of capital to seek to create long-term value for clients. We are committed to our stewardship responsibilities: active engagement with the companies in which we invest, exercising our voice as a long-term investor in proxy voting. As an active asset manager, we encourage companies to develop and adopt practices to manage their risks and create long-term value for our clients.
Focusing on key priorities
We have identified six main investment stewardship priorities that we believe are the environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues that pose the most significant long-term risks and opportunities to our investments. Together with related sub-themes, these priorities provide a structured and targeted framework for engagement with the companies in which we invest.
Stewardship roles and responsibilities
More than 1,000 investment professionals around the world work in close collaboration with our investment stewardship team, combining specialist insight and longstanding company relationships with dedicated stewardship expertise and guidance.
Engagement is integral to our investment processes across asset classes. Research into companies, macroeconomic drivers, sectoral factors and ESG themes drives our engagement and enables us to intervene proactively before risks are realised and opportunities missed. Our engagement approach is founded on four principles:
We are determined to act in the best interests of our clients by encouraging investee companies to focus on prudent allocation of capital and long-term value creation.
We strive to understand how factors impacting sustainability are financially significant to individual companies over time, understanding that the regions, cultures, and organizations in which we invest differ greatly.
We focus on strategic issues that are most urgently in need of our involvement in order to deliver better long-term return to our clients. We believe that as large investors, we have the ability to put our resources to work towards achieving the outcomes we seek on behalf of our clients.
We seek to be clear about the the investment stewardship work we do and take steps to be transparent to our stakeholders as we expect the same of investee companies.
Through the three pillars of our Enhanced Engagement Program, we aim to drive meaningful change at investee companies that most require our time and attention.
Focus list: Companies in our equity and/or corporate credit portfolios to which we have meaningful investment exposure and where our research has identified financially material ESG issues and opportunities.
Thematic projects: Engagement initiatives on specific themes – aligned with our six Investment Stewardship Priorities – targeting a broader number of investee companies on the same set of issues.
Reactive engagements: Corporate actions, notable events, major developments, controversies, norms breaches and matters arising from the proxy voting process that require reactive engagement.
Engagement in 2022
Engagement activity statistics for 2022
We vote shares held in our clients’ portfolios based on our reasonable judgement of what will best serve the long-term interests of our clients, in accordance with the legal standards applicable to the particular client account.
We have comprehensive proxy voting policies and guidelines in each region, consistent with law and expectations of good governance practices in these different locations.
Proxy voting statistics for 2022
Policies and commitments
Picture source: banner Getty, tiles left to right Shutterstock for the first 4 ones, Getty for the 5th one