Stewardship Annual Report 2018

Stewardship is an integral part of our philosophy, and this manifests itself in our integration, engagement and voting activity. As such, we are delighted to introduce our 2018 Stewardship Annual Report, which highlights our approach, activity and outcomes in 2017.

10 April 2018

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Stewardship Annual Report 2018 - An introduction

2017 was a significant year for ESG, most notably with climate change high on the agenda for both companies and governments. The US withdrawal from the landmark Paris Agreement appeared to galvanise the rest of the world – not to mention states, cities and companies in the US – to reaffirm their commitments to decarbonisation. We have certainly not let this issue slip in our minds, and continue to build on our research, including efforts to understand, measure and disclose carbon risks in the portfolios we manage.

Observers of ESG and sustainability issues may have found 2017 somewhat nerve wracking, in no small measure due to the potential fallout from political disruption. But if anyone thought the tide could be turned here, they are likely to have been positively surprised.

David Sheasby

DAVID SHEASBY

Head of Stewardship & ESG


As for our engagement agenda, it has been another busy year both on the private and collective fronts. We saw the commencement of an initiative on cybersecurity in the financial, healthcare and retail sectors and signed up to a new joint project on corporate tax responsibility.

We find it somewhat curious that there are still sceptics when it comes to the merits of integrating ESG in the investment process. This isn’t just because the research supporting this approach from a ‘hard’ risk/return perspective is growing by the day, but also because there are broader implications of agnosticism.

David Sheasby

JOHN PICKARD

Head of Investment


While there are many ESG issues on our radar screens for 2018, the report explores four that stand out due to their increasing materiality:

ESG Outlook 2018
ESG Outlook

Highlights in 2017

  • Highest possible (A+) rating awarded by the PRI* across all three categories
  • David Sheasby, our Head of Stewardship and ESG, appointed to the PRI’s ESG Engagement Advisory Committee
  • Continued work with external consultants to develop our in-house ESG expertise
  • Successful completion of first-round collaborative engagement on water risk in the agricultural supply chain
  • Significant engagement and voting activity on behalf of our clients

Engagement activity


250

# companies engaged
 with (private)

19

# companies engaged
with (collaborative)

Voting activity

685

shareholder
meetings

7571

resolutions

PRI ratings history

Year Strategy Integration Active Ownership Reporting period
2017 A+ A+ A+ 1 Jan 16 – 31 Dec 16
2016 A+ A+ A 1 Jan 15 – 31 Dec 15
2015 A+ A A 1 Jan 14 – 31 Dec 14
2014 A A A 1 Jan 13 – 31 Dec 13

ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS IN COLLABORATIVE ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVES

Tax responsibility ESG
Tax responsibility
Antibiotic use
Antibiotic use
Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity

*PRI – Principles for Responsible Investment. FRC – Financial Reporting Council. Engagement and voting activity is for the period 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017.

Stewardship report 2018 PDF

Important information
This information is issued and approved by Martin Currie Investment Management Limited (‘MCIM’). It does not constitute investment advice. The information provided should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. It should not be assumed that any of the securities discussed were, or will prove to be, profitable.
Any distribution of this material in Australia is by Martin Currie Australia Limited (‘MCA’). Martin Currie Australia is a division of Legg Mason Asset Management Australia Limited (ABN 76 004 835 849). Legg Mason Australia Limited holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (ASFL No. AFSL240827) issued pursuant to the Corporations Act 2001.