As noted, USS has a dedicated responsible investment team that undertakes engagement. Our internal portfolio managers also conduct regular and comprehensive engagement with companies. Therefore it is not necessary to use external service providers. The exception to this is the Japanese engagement consortium. USS works with the Japan Engagement Consortium (JEC) to engage with Japanese companies on our behalf and help overcome language and cultural barriers. The portfolio managers and RI team monitor the engagement conducted by the JEC through regular contacts and reports. USS has quarterly meetings with the JEC to prioritise engagement candidates, set objectives, discuss meeting outcomes and follow up on outcomes for specific companies. We also influence JEC's priorities in discussion with other institutional investors in the collaboration. Views fed back from the JEC have helped to inform our portfolio managers' views of the companies covered. The JEC has also been a strong proponent of the market-level developments in corporate governance in Japan, working with USS to facilitate our engagement with regulatory and industry bodies in Japan. For information on the JEC see http://goinvestmentpartners.com/jec/
The JEC has engaged on the following issues on behalf of USS in 2017: supply chain management, board independence, remuneration, accountability for resource allocation, board skills, board diversity and succession planning.