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Zürcher Kantonalbank

PRI reporting framework 2017

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LEA 17. Voting policy & approach

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17.1. Indicate whether your organisation has a formal voting policy.

17.2. Indicate what your voting policy covers:

17.4. Provide a brief overview of your organization’s approach to (proxy) voting.

Basic principles of voting policy

A proper corporate governance is the central component of a corporate strategy aligned to the long-term sustainability and enhancement of corporate value. Swisscanto bases the exercise of voting rights on a number of Swiss and international corporate governance rules, as well as on the United Nations’ Principles of Responsible Investment (UN PRI), that specify a comprehensive package of environmental, social and governance standards for the decision process.
The basic principles of Swisscanto’s voting policy were developed in collaboration with ISS (Institutional Shareholder Services Inc.), the world’s leading shareholder consultant.

Because of the often significant shareholdings in Swiss companies, Swisscanto follows the “2016 Swisscanto Sustainability Proxy Voting Guidelines for Swiss Companies” guideline, which focuses on specific concerns of Swisscanto. For companies headquartered outside Switzerland, the ISS “2016 Sustainability International Proxy Voting Summary Guidelines” apply. English versions of both voting policy documents are available on the Internet.

The guidelines for the exercise of voting rights are applicable within the Swisscanto Group for both fund companies, Swisscanto Fund Management Company Ltd. in Switzerland and Swisscanto Asset Management International S.A. in Luxembourg. Both fund companies rely on the same voting
policy, but have their own decision-making bodies.

17.5. Provide an overview of how you ensure your voting policy is adhered to, giving details of your approach when exceptions to the policy are made (if applicable).

  • Swisscanto recognizes that sustainability or environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) factors could present material risks to portfolio investments.
  • Swisscanto seek to promote support for sustainable business practices advocating for stewardship of environment, fair labour practices, non-discrimination and the protection of human rights as corporate activities and practices should be aligned with the broader objectives of society.
  • The Swisscanto Sustainability Proxy Voting Guidelines will take as its frame of reference internationally recognized sustainability-related initiatives such as the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), United Nations Global Compact, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Carbon Principles, International Labour Organization Conventions (ILO), CERES Principles, Global Sullivan Principles, MacBride Principles and environmental and social European Union Directives. Each of these initiatives promote a fair, unified and productive reporting and compliance environment which advances positive corporate ESG actions and mitigate related financial and reputational risks.
  • There may be cases in which the exercise of voting rights at a particular company varies from these Guidelines due to the fact that Swisscanto consider company-specific circumstances in arriving at its decision.

Please notice: We did change 2017 our voting policy and voting guidelines. The documents for 2016 are not any more available on our website.