We take a proactive approach to engagement; there are different levels depending on the situation. We maintain thorough records of our engagements, including attendees, holdings, topics, questions, previous voting history and notes from prior engagements. The performance of companies with which we have engaged is subject to review per the investment process. Regular meetings with companies also serve to update us on progress. We recognise that some of the issues that we engage on are longer term themes.
Meetings before and after engagements take place to clarify aims and objectives for the engagement. Each meeting has one leader whose responsibility it is to draw together an agenda and lead discussion.
Meeting notes are uploaded to our research sharing platform where we maintain and disseminate notes and records of meetings. This allows the information to be distributed throughout the firm, specifically to the relevant investment professionals. This serves as a means on monitoring progress.
Where goals are not met, the matter may be escalated and the decision made to intervene (as described in LEA 01.04). Engagement outcomes may also result in an investment decision being made.
On a quarterly basis, we screen our preferred holdings according to various ESG criteria. The results of this are then distributed throughout the investment department. This serves as another way to highlight issues and prioritise company engagement.
We view proxy voting as one of the most powerful ways in which to signal disapproval of a company strategy. All decisions are taken in collaboration with our portfolio managers and analysts. Watchlists are maintained within ISS Proxy Exchange. This allows us to review performance where there have been ESG concerns and to reflect this in our proxy voting research and subsequent action which may or may not include engagement.