Since 2015, Robeco informs companies of the rationale behind "against" votes when they fall under three categories: companies that are under engagement by the Active Ownership Team, companies in which Robeco is a significant shareholder (>1% of issued shares), and all Dutch companies.
We inform these companies in order to elaborate on our voting rationale and to voice concerns. Often such communication leads to a conversation with the company in question, in which we suggest improvements that the company can make in the future. This process is aimed for improvements in these companies. Given the amount of resources needed for such feedback sessions, we focus on the most relevant holdings, instead of having a standardized or automated process of 'vote against messages' for every single "against" vote. To apply focus, we scope those companies in which we have a significant holding, are already under engagement and in our home market .
Furthermore, Robeco aims to achieve maximum transparency in our voting activities, both for the companies in which we invest, our clients and beneficiaries, and the general public. Our voting history is therefor made publicly available via our web disclosure platform, which is updated on a continual basis, and available at the link below.
In some cases, where persistent ESG issues are identified at a company’s shareholder meetings, the company may be selected for our engagement program, at which point a high intensity dialogue will be initiated.