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Alexander Forbes Investments Limited

PRI reporting framework 2018

You are in Strategy and Governance » Promoting responsible investment

Promoting responsible investment

SG 09. Collaborative organisations / initiatives

New selection options have been added to this indicator. Please review your prefilled responses carefully.

09.1. Select the collaborative organisation and/or initiatives of which your organisation is a member or in which it participated during the reporting year, and the role you played.

Select all that apply

Your organisation’s role in the initiative during the reporting period (see definitions)

Provide a brief commentary on the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. [Optional]

As a signatory we apply the principles across our investment process. 

Your organisation’s role in the initiative during the reporting period (see definitions)

Provide a brief commentary on the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. [Optional]

We endorse CRISA and apply it's principles across our investment process. 

Your organisation’s role in the initiative during the reporting period (see definitions)

Provide a brief commentary on the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. [Optional]

Speaker at the UN Environment Finance Initiative Regional Roundtable in Africa and
the Middle East, held between 27 to 29 November 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Roundtable discussion focused on the future of Responsible Investing in South Africa. 

          Member of the ASISA (ASSOCIATION FOR SAVINGS & INVESTMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA) RI Committee
        

Your organisation’s role in the initiative during the reporting year (see definitions)

Provide a brief commentary on the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. [Optional]

          Partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature
        

Your organisation’s role in the initiative during the reporting year (see definitions)

Provide a brief commentary on the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. [Optional]

Alexander Forbes Investments has been working with the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA) to drive an environmental sustainability agenda within the South African investment industry.

Our partnership led to the launch of an Environmental Sustainability Questionnaire, which was designed to highlight critical areas of focus from an environmental perspective, which aims to enhance the quality and content of environmental discussions between asset managers and the companies in which they invest. Critical areas covered in the questionnaire include: water consumption; supply chain management; waste management; fossil fuel, energy and emissions; and renewable forms of energy. The questionnaire aims to address the data deficit asset managers experienced by providing a pragmatic framework for the asset management industry, to assist their understanding of potential environmental risks. 

Asset managers were encouraged to use the questionnaire to improve their engagements on environmental issues on their 10 largest equity holdings in their portfolios. 

Following the receipt of the completed questionnaires, Alexander Forbes Investments and WWF-SA analysed all responses to highlight key environmental risks and inconsistent company data across responses for asset managers to engage further with company management on. 

Combined assets under management of asset managers participating where in excess of R2.5 trilion.


SG 09.2. Assets managed by PRI signatories (Private)


SG 10. Promoting RI independently

10.1. Indicate if your organisation promotes responsible investment, independently of collaborative initiatives.

10.2. Indicate the actions your organisation has taken to promote responsible investment independently of collaborative initiatives. Provide a description of your role in contributing to the objectives of the selected action and the typical frequency of your participation/contribution.

Description

          Client servicing individuals
Formal training to client servicing individuals, on our ESG philosophy and process and that of the managers we invest with, is provided at least annually and more frequently where updates are required. This training is recorded for those unable to attend training sessions along with a copy of the slide pack for use in engaging with clients at regular reportbacks. 
Clients
Client servicing individual’s reportback to clients on a quarterly basis. In line with our regulatory framework, the Pension Fund’s Act, which requires that trustees consider ESG considerations in their investment decision making framework as part of their fiduciary duty, client servicing individuals provide training to clients at least annually. This training includes training on regulatory requirements, governing industry standards and bodies, RI principles, ESG integration and ESG strategies. 
Alexander Forbes hosts regional client conferences semi-annually across five regions across South Africa. Responsible Investing was one of the areas of focus at this year’s conference which hosted approximately 1000 attendees across all regions. 
Where requested, workshops are provided to clients to assist them in the development of their own RI policy and ESG monitoring frameworks to assist clients in monitoring asset manager’s adherence to and implementation of client specific RI policies.  
We have also contributed to creating awareness by posting a video on responsible investing principles and practices, hosted by our Head of Responsible Investing, on our website and across our social media platforms (i.e. Twitter and LinkedIn). 
Investment managers
Guidance and training is provided to asset managers on how to implement the underlying principles of the PRI and CRISA across their investment process. This includes areas relating to ESG integration, active ownership initiatives and importantly the need for appropriate disclosure and reporting of such, to enable Alexander Forbes Investments to monitor their adherence to our RI policy.
        

Frequency of contribution

Description

          As a partner of the World Wide Fund for Nature - SA, we pay an annual membership fee which contributes to research relating to environmental sustainability across the investment industry.
        

Frequency of contribution

Description

          Through our RI due diligence questionnaires and regular engagements with asset managers, we encourage better disclosure of RI practices across the asset managers we invest with. 
Through our Environmental Sustainability Questionnaire (in partnership with the WWF-SA) we encourage greater disclosure of RI practices specifically relating to improving disclosure of the consideration of environmental factors.
        

Frequency of contribution

Description

          Speaker at the following conferences: 

S&P Dow Jones Indices (February 2017)
Topic: Building Investment Strategies with Sustainable Factors 

Alexander Forbes Hot Topics Conference (March 2017) 
Topic: Responsible Investing
Conference was in five regions across South Africa – attracting an audience of approximately 1000 attendees

UN Environment Finance Initiative Regional Roundtable in Africa and the Middle East (November 2017)
Topic: The Future of Responsible Investment in Africa
        

Frequency of contribution

Description

          We encourage the adoption of the PRI in all our engagements with asset managers. Furthermore, our RI Due Diligence Process requires asset managers to specify whether they are signatories and if not - to provide reasons thereof. Their signatory status is also formally disclosed in our manager research notes which are available to clients on our Global Investment Manager Database.
        

Frequency of contribution

Description

          Contributed to an article in the industry publication, Today's Trustee (June - August 2017), titled "Responsible Investing – Through the maze", which focused on the resources, in terms of time and personnel, that should be devoted to RI research.
        

Frequency of contribution

10.3. Describe any additional actions and initiatives that your organisation has taken part in during the reporting year to promote responsible investment [Optional]

Alexander Forbes Investments has been working with the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA) to drive an environmental sustainability agenda within the South African investment industry.

Our partnership led to the launch of an Environmental Sustainability Questionnaire, which was designed to highlight critical areas of focus from an environmental perspective, which aims to enhance the quality and content of environmental discussions between asset managers and the companies in which they invest. Critical areas covered in the questionnaire include: water consumption; supply chain management; waste management; fossil fuel, energy and emissions; and renewable forms of energy. The questionnaire aims to address the data deficit asset managers experienced by providing a pragmatic framework for the asset management industry, to assist their understanding of potential environmental risks. 

Asset managers were encouraged to use the questionnaire to improve their engagements on environmental issues on their 10 largest equity holdings in their portfolios. 

Following the receipt of the completed questionnaires, Alexander Forbes Investments and WWF-SA analysed all responses to highlight key environmental risks and inconsistent company data across responses for asset managers to engage further with company management on. 

Combined assets under management of asset managers participating where in excess of R2.5 trilion.


SG 11. Dialogue with public policy makers or standard setters (Private)


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