When our analysts or ESG team are engaging with a company, they will prepare an agenda with the items they wish to discuss with the company ahead of the meeting. This agenda is then shared with the portfolio managers/investment team and feedback is received.
After the company meeting, the analyst/investment team will then write up their notes from the meeting and again share these with the PM/investment team. Analysts will include these engagement notes in their reports that are published on our research management system which is visible to the whole investment team, including the portfolio managers, which then form part of the investment decision-making process.
Although we do not formally monitor the actions companies take following our engagements, we are always tracking the investment thesis of the company which forms part of our investment decisions.
Goals and objectives are identified ahead of the majority of our engagements, for example, when engaging in relation to voting activities we will flag concerns on proposals to our investee companies where we would be looking for them to make changes or improvements ahead of their next AGM and where no improvements have been made this would influence our voting behaviour at that company’s AGM the following year.
On occasion we will engage with a company to promote change ahead of a proxy vote. If the company hasn't made the required changes we will often support the company but qualify it with them that if they don't change ahead of the next proxy vote, we will most like vote against the particular agenda item. The ESG team will continue to engage with that company throughout the year and if the change still isn't forthcoming we will often vote against management.