How can I invest responsibly?
Our approach to sustainable investing helps you stay true to your values.
The United Nations describes sustainable development as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’
Many investors want to align their investment choices with the future sustainability of the environment or in an ethical way more generally.
We believe that incorporating such responsible decisions within the investment process is essential. What’s more we know that sustainable investing can be aligned with sound investment principles.
When ethical investment funds first came out there was simply a screen, which discounted a host of companies that were deemed to be doing things that did not meet the investment criteria. This binary approach meant that the range of companies that investors could invest in was much smaller and this generally led to under-performance.
Over the years, a more nuanced approach has been adopted. This screens out the worst offenders and invests in profit-making companies committed to working within ethical or environmental guidelines. This allows the maintenance of investment portfolios that follow the fundamental investment principles that have a proven track-record.
To ensure such an approach succeeds it is essential that we monitor, challenge and encourage our fund managers. Not just once, but continually.
How we assess and monitor our portfolio managers
We follow a set of standards for your responsible investment which we use to measure our fund managers. This includes demonstrating how Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) stewardship is integrated into the investment processes.
An integral part of our initial selection and monitoring process is to ensure that all of the firms that we entrust our client’s money with in our sustainable portfolios uphold the highest standards. We believe that a fundamental method of ensuring that our managers align with our goals is to ensure that they have signed up to two key initiatives: the UN Principles of Responsible Investing and the UK Stewardship Code.
UN Principles of Responsive Investing
The United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is a set of six principles developed by a network of international investors that reflects the view that the integration of environmental, social and corporate governance issues into investment management can all have a positive impact on investment performance.
We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
We will promote acceptance and implementation of the principles within the investment industry.
We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the principles.
We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the principles.
UK Stewardship Code
The UK Stewardship Code consists of seven principles and aims to enhance engagement between investment managers and their clients. We believe that such better engagement ultimately leads to better long-term returns through efficiently exercising governance responsibilities.
Principles of the Code
Institutional investors should:
Publicly disclose their policy on how they will discharge their stewardship responsibilities.
Have a robust policy on managing conflicts of interest in relation to stewardship which should be publicly disclosed.
Monitor their investee companies.
Establish clear guidelines on when and how they will escalate their stewardship activities.
Be willing to act collectively with other investors where appropriate.
Have a clear policy on voting and disclosure of voting activity.
Report periodically on their stewardship and voting activities.