Our primary fiduciary obligation to our clients is to maximize the long-term returns of their investments. It is our view that material environmental and social (sustainability) issues can both create risk as well as generate long-term value in our portfolios. This philosophy provides the foundation for our value-based approach to Asset Stewardship.
We use our voice and our vote through engagement, proxy voting, and thought leadership in order to communicate with issuers and educate market participants about our perspective on important sustainability topics. Our Asset Stewardship program prioritization process allows us to proactively identify companies for engagement and voting in order to mitigate sustainability risks in our portfolio.
Through engagement, we address a broad range of topics that align with our thematic priorities and build long-term relationships with issuers. Engagements are often multi- year exercises. We share our views of key topics and also seek to understand the disclosure and practices of issuers. We leverage our long-term relationship with companies to effect change. Voting on sustainability issues is mainly driven through shareholder proposals. However, we may take voting action against directors even in the absence of shareholder proposals for unaddressed concerns pertaining to sustainability matters.
In this document we provide additional transparency into our approach to engagement and voting on sustainability- related matters.