Stewardship and ESG integration
We are responsible investors and have integrated ESG analysis and company engagement into the investment process. We believe that relevant ESG factors highlight the sustainability of a company’s earnings and could generate a significant impact on investment performance.
We believe quality companies with better ESG credentials will generally merit a higher valuation multiple; conversely, weaker companies may warrant a discount. By evaluating ESG factors, we can assess what might significantly improve or indeed destroy the investment case in terms of future valuations.
On the other side of the equation, being responsible investors means that we are responsible owners. We consider every company meeting as an opportunity to engage with management and we take our ownership responsibilities seriously. We engage extensively with companies to share best practice and influence behaviour on material issues.
|Countries visited in 2017||China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Nairobi, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam|
|Number of meetings||1645|
We believe that a strong commitment to stewardship is an essential component of a strong approach to responsible investment (RI), and that embedding RI into the core of our investment activities is in the best long-term interests of our clients. For more than a decade we have systematically and progressively improved our practices and processes across our investment capabilities globally.
Proxy voting rights are an important asset for listed equity investors and exercising these rights is a core part of our stewardship responsibilities. We seek to vote on all possible resolutions at company meetings. Prior to voting, we consider each resolution against generally accepted corporate governance best practice guidelines and, where appropriate, seek to engage with company management before a potential vote against.
In addition, the team retains a selection of independent corporate governance research providers that advise on proxy voting matters, although we retain full control over final voting decisions. Where an issue is controversial or affects multiple portfolios, it will be discussed at team meetings before a decision is made.
Proxy voting history by type of resolution
The table below contains the proxy voting history for the team by issue type. The chart provides the same information for FY2019.
Proxy voting by region
The chart below shows the number of times the team voted in each reason and the percentage of votes against management recommendations, against our proxy advisors' recommendation, or against both. The purpose of this table is to show the regional difference in voting patterns and governance concerns.
Proxy voting information is as at 31/12/2019
Source: First Sentier Investors / CGI Glass Lewis
(Source: First Sentier Investors Responsible Investment & Stewardship Report 2019)