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Comgest

PRI reporting framework 2018

You are in Direct - Listed Equity Active Ownership » Engagement

Engagement

Overview

LEA 01. Description of approach to engagement

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

01.1. Indicate whether your organisation has a formal engagement policy.

01.2. Attach or provide a URL to your engagement policy.

01.3. Indicate what your engagement policy covers:

01.4. Provide a brief overview of your organization’s approach to engagement

Comgest is a bottom-up stock picker and the basis of our research includes meeting companies directly. For us it is quite natural to engage with companies regarding ESG issues. As an active shareholder and a promoter of RI practices, Comgest engages with companies in several ways. First, as a responsible investor, Comgest exercises its voting rights at general meetings. Secondly, Comgest establishes a constructive dialogue with investee companies to collect more information in order to refine its investment analysis and where it is deemed useful it also challenges companies on specific ESG issues seeking an improvement of ESG disclosure, risk mitigation, etc.

01.6. Additional information [optional]

Our engagement policy and activities are described in 2 documents:

- RI Policy (our engagement policy is on page 14 of our RI Policy)

- Voting Policy


LEA 02. Reasoning for interaction on ESG issues

02.1. Indicate the method of engagement, giving reasons for the interaction.

Type of engagement

Reason for interaction

Individual/Internal staff engagements
Collaborative engagements
Service provider engagements

Please specify why your organisation does not engage via service providers.

We do not want to delegate to service providers the engagement activity because it is an important part of our process. The information collected through engagement is useful for ESG integration. We prefer to do engagement on our own and with other asset managemers and/or asset owners.

02.2. Additional information. [Optional]

In 2017, Comgest participated in several collaborative engagement actions: supply chain in the textile and electronics industries — water consumption disclosure at several food & beverage companies — labour issues in the agricultural supply chain — cybersecurity.


Process

Process for engagements run internally

LEA 03. Process for identifying and prioritising engagement activities

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

03.1. Indicate whether your organisation has a formal process for identifying and prioritising engagement activities carried out by internal staff.

03.2. Describe the criteria used to identify and prioritise engagement activities carried out by internal staff.

03.3. Additional information. [Optional]


LEA 04. Objectives for engagement activities

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

04.1. Indicate if you define specific objectives for your engagement activities.

04.2. Indicate if you monitor the actions that companies take during and following your engagements activities carried out by internal staff.

04.3. Indicate if you do any of the following to monitor and evaluate the progress of your engagement activities carried out by internal staff.

04.4. Additional information. [Optional]


Process for engagements conducted via collaborations

LEA 05. Process for identifying and prioritising collaborative engagement

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

05.1. Indicate whether your organisation has a formal process for identifying and prioritising collaborative engagements

05.2. Describe the criteria used to identify and prioritise collaborative engagements.

05.3. Additional information [Optional]


LEA 06. Objectives for engagement activities

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

06.1. Indicate if you define specific objectives for your engagement activities carried out collaboratively.

06.2. Indicate if you monitor the actions companies take during and following your collaborative engagements.

06.3. Indicate if you do any of the following to monitor and evaluate the progress of your collaborative engagement activities.

06.4. Additional information. [Optional]


General processes for all three groups of engagers

LEA 09. Share insights from engagements with internal/external managers

09.1. Indicate if insights gained from your engagements are shared with your internal or external investment managers.

Type of engagement

Insights shared

Individual/Internal staff engagements

Collaborative engagements

09.2. Additional information. [Optional]


LEA 10. Tracking number of engagements

10.1. Indicate if you track the number of your engagement activities.

Type of engagement
Tracking engagements

Individual / Internal staff engagements

Collaborative engagements

10.2. Additional information. [OPTIONAL]


Outputs and outcomes

LEA 11. Number of companies engaged with, intensity of engagement and effort

11.1. Indicate the amount of your listed equities portfolio with which your organisation engaged during the reporting year.

Number of companies engaged

(avoid double counting, see explanatory notes)

Proportion (to the nearest 5%)
Specify the basis on which this percentage is calculated

Individual / Internal staff engagements

67 Number of companies engaged
20 Proportion (to the nearest 5%)

Specify the basis on which this percentage is calculated

Collaborative engagements

4
0 Proportion (to the nearest 5%)

Specify the basis on which this percentage is calculated

11.2. Indicate the proportion of engagements that involved multiple, substantive and detailed discussions or interactions with a company during the reporting year relating to ESG issue.

Type of engagement

% Comprehensive engagements

 

 

Individual / Internal staff engagements

 

 

Collaborative engagements

11.3. Indicate the percentage of your collaborative engagements for which you were a leading organisation during the reporting year.

Type of engagement

% Leading role

  Collaborative engagements

11.5. Additional information. [Optional]


LEA 12. Engagement methods

12.1. Indicate which of the following your engagement involved.

12.2. Additional information. [Optional]


LEA 13. Companies changing practices / behaviour following engagement

13.1. Indicate whether you track the number of cases during the reporting year in which a company changed its practices, or made a formal commitment to do so, following your organisation’s and/or your service provider's engagement activities.

Do you track number of companies that changed or made a formal commitment to change in the reporting year following your organisation’s and/or your service provider's engagement activities?

13.2. Indicate the number of companies that changed or made a formal commitment to change in the reporting year following your organisation’s and/or your service provider's engagement activities.

Number of companies
% of total portfolio

Individual / Internal staff engagements

8
3 % of total Portfolio

Collaborative engagements

2
1 % of total Portfolio

13.3. Additional information [Optional].


LEA 14. Examples of ESG engagements

14.1. Provide examples of the engagements that your organisation or your service provider carried out during the reporting year.

ESG factors
ESG issue
          Engagement on labour relations at a low-cost European airline company based in Ireland.
        
Conducted by
Objectives

The reputation and operational risks associated with the poor labour relations had been an issue for some time. We set the objective to force the company to reconsider its practices in HR management, and potentially trade unions recognition.

Scope and Process

After talking about this issue with the management team (CFO, COO, CMO etc) during various roadshows, we took the decision to address the issue directly with the Head of HR at the headquarter of the company in Dublin.

In June,we were offered the opportunity to visit all the floors and offices of the Headquarter and discuss with employees. We also had a one hour meeting with the Deputy Head of HR, as well as the CFO to discuss HR at length.

Four months later, we were also given the opportunity to meet with the CEO to discuss the matter in London.

Outcomes

Given the context of flights cancellations, poor media coverage and intense labour relations from September on, our engagement looked like relevant and material to the management team and the board. In September, the company announced a general pay rise, notably to its pilots.

Our discussion in November may also have had an impact due to the fact that we had been discussing the matter for a while and because of all the disruptions that had emerged in a few months.

The outcome was that in December the airline company announced they would recognize trade unions going forward.

14.2. Additional information. [Optional]


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