WORDS INTO ACTION

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT 2017/18

CSR Welcome

Welcome to our first CSR report

We recognise that what we do can make a real difference. In 2017/18 we were recognised for our stewardship activity, further developed our learning culture across the business and held a Challenge Programme that raised £81,000 for charity.

We are proud of our achievements, that’s why we are delighted to present our inaugural CSR report, driven by commitments to our clients, our people, the communities where we live and work and our other stakeholders. Read more about what we have been doing – and how we hope to do things better in the future.

More about this report

Welcome messages

Willie Watt - Chief Executive
Willie Watt, Martin Currie

Willie Watt

Chief Executive Officer

In our 136-year history, the investment landscape has changed dramatically, though for us one thing has remained constant throughout. First and foremost, our duty is to be effective stewards of our clients’ capital. Our responsibilities, however, are broader than that. We are accountable to our employees, the bedrock of our company and the communities and environment in which they work.

So, it gives me great pleasure to introduce our first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, covering the year 2017/18. It highlights our approach to stewardship and areas in which we can improve in the future.

As investors, we have been recognised once again for our responsible approach. We have received an A+ rating by the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) across each of its top-level categories for the last two years and we are among the top 9% of active equity investors for integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) into our investment process. In addition, our Head of Stewardship and ESG, David Sheasby was appointed to the PRI’s Engagement Advisory Committee. This is a reflection of how we have led the way – and continue to do so – in terms of embedding ESG factors into what we do, ensuring our clients’ portfolios reflect a changing world with changing priorities.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce our first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, covering the year 2017/18. It highlights our approach to stewardship and areas in which we can improve in the future.

Within Martin Currie, we have made great strides in developing our learning culture, creating a workplace which encourages a growth mindset, where employees learn from the challenges they face. This all underpins our aim of getting better results for our clients.

And finally, we foster the charitable efforts of our employees, who have raised more than £110,000 for 50 good causes during the period – and more than £3 million over the last 10 years.

While we are rightly proud of our efforts, we recognise that there is more to do and this report gives us cause to reflect and refine the actions we commit to take in the future.

David Sheasby - Head of Stewardship and ESG
David Sheasby ESG Martin Currie

David Sheasby

Head of Stewardship and ESG

Effective stewardship of our clients’ capital is crucial to our ethos. We seek to identify business models that are most likely to sustain high returns and resist competitive pressures, resulting in better outcomes for our clients. Integrating ESG factors is fundamental to how we assess the risks and opportunities of each investment case.

Recognition of the role ESG factors play has greatly increased among investors in recent years but has long been central to our thinking. We were among the earliest signatories to the PRI (there are now nearly 2,000) and ESG has been formally integrated into our analysis for nearly a decade.

When we engage with companies, we look for evidence of awareness, disclosure and mitigation of material ESG factors. However, it is essential we hold ourselves to the same standards, particularly when we consider our role often involves advising the businesses we engage with worldwide on how to adopt best practice.

In this reporting period, our rating from the PRI has been a great endorsement of our approach to stewardship and reflects the significant importance we place on active ownership and engagement. However, we are fully aware we cannot stand still. The bar is constantly being raised and there are always ways in which we can do better.

We have asked ourselves the question, looking through the ESG lens, ‘would we invest in Martin Currie?’ In this sense, releasing our first CSR report is an important step, recognising and disclosing the most material factors to our business, as well as learning what improvements we can make in the future.

In this reporting period, our rating from the PRI has been a great endorsement of our approach to stewardship and reflects the significant importance we place on active ownership and engagement. However, we are fully aware we cannot stand still. The bar is constantly being raised and there are always ways in which we can do better.

Most notably, in the coming years, the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will undoubtedly play a huge role in how we approach ESG analysis and reporting. The SDGs should provide a comprehensive framework for how we assess the extent to which companies are building sustainability into their business models. We believe they will be a powerful engagement tool, adding extra weight to the conversations we already have with businesses. We continue to explore how we can better integrate them into our investment process. Importantly, these goals will also play a large part in how we assess our own performance.

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Stewardship CSR

Taking responsibility for stewardship

Stewardship not only makes us better investors, but also has a positive impact on a wide set of stakeholders.

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HR CSR

Creating an inspiring workplace

A diverse and inclusive workplace where learning is key, helps deliver the best outcomes for our clients.

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Compliance CSR

Going beyond Compliance

We have a robust and resilient approach to company governance, in harmony with client expectations.

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Community CSR

Making a difference

At Martin Currie, our community involvement is more than a ‘tick-box exercise’.

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Environment CSR

Caring about the world we live in

We are committed to minimising our impact on the environment.

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Targets CSR

Next Steps

So what next? We are proud of our achievements this year but we know there is so much more to do.

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GRI content index

CSR report GRI Index