Our approach to stewardship stems from our belief that company management, directors and investors all have critical yet unique roles.
We believe that the proper consideration of relevant environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters affects the long-term sustainable performance of companies and benefits the investors of such companies.
To this end, we:
- seek to understand the ESG issues that impact companies in which we are invested;
- evaluate a company’s particular policies and practices in relation to relevant issues;
- encourage companies to align with best practice on ESG issues;
- enter into constructive dialogue and engagement where a company’s approach or practices on relevant ESG matters is below investor expectations;
- leverage our clients’ investor rights to push for desired outcomes from investee companies; and
- align our votes at general meetings with our engagement objectives.
Shade Duffy, Head of Corporate Governance
Focusing on issues that we believe will improve the risk/performance profile of investee companies
Our global engagement activities:
Through our engagement activities our aim is to use our influence as investors to encourage companies to mitigate key environmental and social risks relevant to their sectors.
We have recently increased our stewardship activities around climate change. As a large investor we believe we have a role to play in limiting global warming to a 2°C scenario*. In particular, we believe that the systemic nature of climate change requires investors to aggregate collective influence to bring about necessary change.
We continue to review our engagement strategy on this issue and are currently considering additional engagement objectives in relation to climate change.
Breakdown of engagement issues:
Find out more about our key engagement topics in our latest AXA IM RI annual Review.
Instilling proper governance across our investments
Voting at company meetings is an important part of the dialogue between a company and its shareholders. As an asset manager, it is a fundamental aspect of our fiduciary duty to our clients.
Our Corporate Governance & Voting Policy is based on principles of good corporate governance which serve to protect the long-term interests of shareholders.
Guidelines for different jurisdictions and circumstances
We have developed voting guidelines for specific markets in recognition that the companies in which we invest are subject to different local laws and regulations on governance matters.
When reviewing resolutions proposed at general meetings we judge them against fundamental principles of good corporate governance, taking into account best practice standards pertinent to the relevant market and that company’s particular circumstances.
Global voting overview
During 2016, we exercised our clients’ voting rights globally in line with our investment footprint.
We do not vote in markets that still require investors to block shares or have imposed onerous administrative requirements on the exercise of voting rights.
Votes against management
We did not fully support management at 2,163 meetings or 40% of the meetings we voted at.
We voted against or abstained on 5,270 resolutions, or more than 9% of resolutions voted.
Votes against management
Find out more about our Voting Policy in our latest RI annual Review.