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Vontobel Holding AG

PRI reporting framework 2019

You are in Direct - Listed Equity Active Ownership » (Proxy) voting and shareholder resolutions

(Proxy) voting and shareholder resolutions

LEA 12. Typical approach to (proxy) voting decisions

12.1. Indicate how you typically make your (proxy) voting decisions.

Approach

Based on

12.2. Provide an overview of how you ensure your voting policy is adhered to, giving details of your approach when exceptions to the policy are made.

Hermes EOS provides us with voting recommendations based on our voting policy which are accessible as input on the voting platform prior to the vote deadline. The voting recommendations are then cast as voting instructions if there is no further intervention, except in the case of shareblocking votes.

12.3. Additional information.[Optional]

For HEOS and Ethos, we apply the service provider voting policy which we have signed off on. The fund management company receives research from HEOS and Ethos and is able to intervene and vote differently, in the event that it is appropriate to do so.


LEA 13. Percentage of voting recommendations reviewed (Not Applicable)


LEA 14. Securities lending programme (Private)


LEA 15. Informing companies of the rationale of abstaining/voting against management

15.1. Indicate the proportion of votes where you or the service providers acting on your behalf have raised concerns with companies ahead of voting.

15.2. Indicate the reasons for raising your concerns with these companies ahead of voting.

Explain

          In order to help progress engagement (driving change), as well as to help clarify matters at hand to inform better voting decisions.
        

15.3. Additional information. [Optional]

Our voting recommendation and engagement provider Hermes EOS interacted with companies at around 949 meetings in 2018. This would usually be ahead of meetings and as a result of concerns around the vote or an anticipated vote against management.


LEA 16. Informing companies of the rationale of abstaining/voting against management

16.1. Indicate the proportion of votes participated in within the reporting year in which, you and/or the service provider(s) acting on your behalf, have communicated to companies the rationale for abstaining or voting against management recommendations.

16.2. Indicate the reasons your organisation would communicate to companies, the rationale for abstaining or voting against management recommendations.

Explain

          In order to help progress engagement (driving change), as well as to help clarify matters at hand to inform better voting decisions.
        

16.3. In cases where your organisation does communicate the rationale for the abstention or the vote against management recommendations, indicate whether this rationale is made public.

16.4. Additional information. [Optional]


LEA 17. Percentage of (proxy) votes cast

17.1. For listed equities where you and/or your service provider have the mandate to issue (proxy) voting instructions, indicate the percentage of votes cast during the reporting year.

Votes cast (to the nearest 1%)

100 %

Specify the basis on which this percentage is calculated

17.3. Additional information. [Optional]

Our service providers Hermes EOS and ISS submit vote recommendations on all ballots available to vote in the portfolios for which we have subscribed to their proxy voting service.


LEA 18. Proportion of ballot items that were for/against/abstentions

18.1. Indicate if you track the voting instructions that you and/or your service provider on your behalf have issued.

18.2. Of the voting instructions that you and/or third parties on your behalf issued, indicate the proportion of ballot items that were:

Voting instructions
Breakdown as percentage of votes cast
For (supporting) management recommendations
90.05 %
Against (opposing) management recommendations
8.34 %
Abstentions
1.62 %
100.01%

18.3. In cases where your organisation voted against management recommendations, indicate the percentage of companies you have engaged.

05

18.4. Additional information. [Optional]

Hermes EOS undertakes intelligent voting on our behalf according to our own proxy voting policy. This means that all proxies are voted in line with the individual circumstances of the company and the vote, rather than using a box-ticking approach or as a compliance driven activity. The vote is viewed as an annual governance health check and voting work is strongly linked with corporate engagement. The vote is not perceived as an end in itself but rather as a mechanism which precipitates further change where required. Hermes EOS files shareholder proposals in markets where it is relevant to do so, typically in Germany and the US, either as lead filer or as co-filer alongside other investors. Consistent with its intelligent voting approach, this typically forms part of a wider engagement with the company and is used as a tool for leverage in its dialogue with management. Where, in accordance with its policies, Hermes EOS has executed a vote against management on large holdings or otherwise high-profile companies, it seeks to follow up with the company either in writing to explain the reasons giving rise to a vote against and the steps that it would like to see the company take to rectify the issue. As necessary, Hermes EOS will look to engage with the company before the meeting to ensure that the issue giving rise to the vote against is addressed so that it can vote in line with management's recommendation, a vote 'for' management 'by exception,' in subsequent years. It may look to vote against management in a number of different scenarios. While it is difficult to provide a general description, typically this will be where a vote with management would not serve the best long-term interests of shareholders. This may be either in terms of remuneration or where there are insufficient skills on the board to take the company forward. There may also be specific instances where a vote in favour of management would be actively detrimental to the company, for example in the case of a merger or acquisition. Hermes EOS rarely abstains on votes. In the very rare instances that it does consider abstaining, this may be because it is unable to vote with management - typically due to inadequate information being provided - but where a vote against management may appear unduly harsh. Hermes EOS always seeks to obtain the required information to make an informed voting decision but this may not always be possible.


LEA 19. Proportion of ballot items that were for/against/abstentions

19.1. Indicate whether your organisation has a formal escalation strategy following unsuccessful voting.

19.3. Additional information. [Optional]


LEA 20. Shareholder resolutions (Private)


LEA 21. Examples of (proxy) voting activities (Private)


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