Through constructive and committed engagement with management teams at the companies and assets we invest in, active ownership is a key element of the value we bring to our clients. Social and environmental forces are reshaping societies, economies, industries and financial markets. Approached thoughtfully and with focus, encouraging management teams to adapt to those changes, and holding them accountable for doing so, can strengthen the long term competitiveness and value of those assets and can accelerate positive change towards a fairer and more sustainable global economy.
Schroders has a long history of engagement and active ownership. We appointed our first governance resource in 1998 and have recorded and monitored ESG engagements spanning more than 20 years. Over that time we have influenced significant change, and helped the companies in which we invest improve their environmental, social and governance performance. That long standing commitment and investment across our firm has provided us with a platform we have refined and strengthened over time.
This document builds further on that foundation. It describes where we plan to focus our active ownership efforts. Establishing and articulating the guiding principles for our active ownership efforts, helps ensure a common voice across the asset classes we manage, as well as through our engagement and input to policy makers, regulators and industry groups. We have a long history of engagement with policy makers, for which sustainability factors are becoming an increasingly important focus. While this document is primarily focused on our engagement with the companies in which we invest, we will continue to develop our active ownership approach and priorities across asset classes to address new priorities and expectations.
This blueprint is forward-looking and is a compass to guide our commitment to creating value by driving transition and change. It is not a set of expectations for current practices. It is complementary to our published ESG policy for listed assets and Sustainable Investment reports. We will continue to engage on traditional operational factors such as share price underperformance outside of the scope of this document.
We believe it is important to be transparent with companies, clients and other key stakeholders about our active ownership priorities. This ensures that clients understand how we plan to execute active ownership responsibilities on their behalf, and companies understand key areas on which we will focus. We expect companies, led by the board, to embrace shareholder rights and constructive engagement with both shareholders and holders of long-term debt around material long-term sustainability issues.
The views and opinions contained herein are those of Schroders’ investment teams and/or Economics Group, and do not necessarily represent Schroder Investment Management North America Inc.’s house views. These views are subject to change. This information is intended to be for information purposes only and it is not intended as promotional material in any respect.