Our Responsible Investment objectives are set by our ESG Advisory Committee which was formed shortly after we became a signatory at the end of June of 2012. It was important to us not to "delegate" responsibility for carrying out the PRI to a small department, hence our President and Chief Investment Officer - Equities is the chair of our committee, which includes senior representatives from businesses across the firm including: Head of Marketing and Client Service, Head of Investment Grade Fixed Income, Head of Non-Investment Grade Research, Head of Global Equity Research, Chief Operating Officer - Equities, Head of Europe, Middle East & Latin America, Co-Head Emerging Markets Debt, Co-Head Social Responsible Investment (SRI) Group, Head of RFP, and senior executives from Legal and Compliance, Risk Management, Equities and Alternatives.
We held our first meeting in September of 2012 and set out several initial objectives. These are revisited and reported on at each successive meeting. Meetings are taken quite seriously and well attended. Formal minutes are taken and circulated to all members. In 2016 we felt it was important to form an ESG Working Group with representation across Research, Strategy, Marketing and Client Service and Product Management to discuss ESG related topics in depth and present findings to the ESG Advisory Committee as needed. The ESG Working Group meets bi-monthly or more frequently as needed and develops framework for ESG topics and works on related projects to maintain our momentum on our ESG goals as a firm.
The NB SRI group meets annually with the SRI Advisory Committee (the “Committee”), the members of which include, among others, the Chief Investment Officer - Equities, the Chief Compliance Officer of the firm’s mutual funds, the Chief Compliance Officer of the firm’s equities separate accounts, the compliance officer responsible for the firm’s mutual fund sub-advisory business, a senior member of the legal department, and the president of the firm’s mutual funds. The Committee meets on an annual basis to provide oversight with respect to the SRI team’s investment process, including its use of third party sources as well as the SRI team’s in house research, its proxy voting policy and the SRI team’s portfolio avoidance compliance. The Committee conducts a review of the predominant policies relating to investment, proxy voting and portfolio avoidance compliance, and then specific examples and decisions are discussed. Industry trends that have impacted or may affect the conduct of the SRI team’s business may also be reviewed.