To safeguard the assets they invest in on behalf of their clients, pension funds, insurers and asset managers should be equipped to understand and respond to potential risks and opportunities arising from environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. Understanding ESG issues and the potential impact of ESG factors on both their investment strategy and the broader operating environment is therefore an integral part of good governance for institutional investors.
In 2006, we formed a committee to drive the implementation of our governance responsibilities on behalf of clients. One of the first tasks of the committees’ Corporate Governance Unit (CGU) was to establish a framework for voting proxies (as envisaged in principle 1). This includes considering and incorporating ESG principles and data into our non-equity investment processes. We also engage company boards on governance and performance issues on behalf of clients. Where mandated, we vote all proxies of companies in which our clients are materially invested, without abstaining (as addressed in principle 2).
To promote environmental sustainability, we aim to:
To promote social sustainability, we aim to:
Sanlam Investment Management’s proxy voting guidelines were first defined in 2006. Since 2010, the number of shareholder meetings Sanlam Investment Management votes at varies seasonally between 40 and 90 per quarter. We have shown aggregated voting data in the form of charts publicly on our website since 2012. In 2017, we placed the unabridged Responsible Investment Policy Document (which includes our voting guidelines) on our website, and in 2018, we added public disclosure of our voting activity per resolution.