We’re a long-standing believer in shareholder activism.
We’ve long been a champion of active shareholder involvement on a number of levels, from directly engaging company management to challenging take-over bids. We also engage other market participants and shareholders, even in cases where we may not necessarily hold the stocks in question. In some instances, we have engaged the exchanges and regulators directly, mostly on issues of minority shareholder protection. We consider economic, social and governance (ESG) factors as part of our fundamental investment analysis, since we recognise that these issues can carry risks that could affect our environment and broader economy, as well as diminish potential investment returns for our client portfolios.
We are a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) and subscribe to the principles of the Code for Responsible Investing in South Africa (CRISA). In fact, we actively participated in drafting CRISA.
Our investment process and practices incorporate the five CRISA principles. These include environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, proxy voting disclosure, and communicating with clients on our policies. We also look to collaborate within the industry where possible.
Regarding proxy voting, we vote on all corporate resolutions on behalf of our clients, unless our clients instruct otherwise. We vote according to our strict proxy voting policy, or according to the client’s recommendation for the client’s specific shareholding. We disclose our voting record quarterly to our segregated clients.
Our proxy voting record over the 12 months ending December 2016:
- Number of resolutions voted: 1170
- Times voted for management resolutions: 1079
- Times voted against management resolutions: 91
- Number of abstentions: 0
- Times voted against UNPRI/King policies: 0