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Alliance Bernstein

PRI reporting framework 2019

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Objectives and strategies

SG 05. RI goals and objectives

05.1. Indicate if and how frequently your organisation sets and reviews objectives for its responsible investment activities.

05.2. Additional information. [Optional]

The Responsible Investment Committee sets out the goals for the responsible investment activities at AB at least annually. The committee meets several times a year to review progress and respond to market developments. 


SG 06. Main goals/objectives this year

06.1. List the main responsible investment objectives that your organisation set for the reporting year.

Responsible investment processes

Key performance indicator

          Conduct training sessions; leverage existing internal processes.
        

Progress achieved

Training occurs both formally and informally, in one-on-one discussions and in group meetings. For instance, we held an educational session on cyber security which was presented by external industry experts, one of AB’s board of directors, and our head of Data Security.

Key performance indicator

          More effective company/issuer engagements.
        

Progress achieved

Our responsible investment staff meet with analysts to prepare for company meetings on ESG-related topics, and have a structured process for engagement. This includes a template that is used to conduct research; the responsible investment staff generally has a preparatory meeting with the analyst if they participate, and uses a tool to track our engagements.    

Key performance indicator

          More frequent discussions with personnel at all levels and in a variety of roles, including partners, investment teams, and client-facing staff.
        

Progress achieved

The CEO, partners and other senior personnel in investments and client-facing teams are updated on market developments, our approach, policies and new responsible-investment focused services. In addition, the responsible investment team, members of the Responsible Investment Committee, and increasingly, other individuals within the firm are well versed on our ESG activities and communicate with their colleagues around the world. The communications take place in formal and informal settings. 

Key performance indicator

          Develop engagement framework and log examples.
        

Progress achieved

Most of our engagements are focused on influencing some type of change or improvement at a company. The topics are company-specific on a wide range of ESG issues such as improving executive compensation targets, disclosing more information on environmental risks and workforce data.   

In 2018, we worked to enhance our tools for tracking and following up on our engagements. The tool was released to a small group of individuals in mid-December and will roll out to all of Equities at the end of February 2019.

Key performance indicator

          Continue to enhance ESG integration.
        

Progress achieved

In our Fixed Income team, they have had in place for several years, an ESG scoring tool which is integrated into the analysts' proprietary credit assessment. In 2018, Fixed Income formalized its platform to evaluate ESG risks in sovereigns. Our equity team has built out a proprietary ESG tool which provides a standard framework to evaluate ESG issues by industry, a central place to store ESG-related data, and company engagements. The tool will be accessible to the fixed income analysts as well. 

          Thought leadership
        

Key performance indicator

          Host / participate in events and write blogs
        

Progress achieved

AB hosted several impact investing symposia for clients and prospects. We wrote several ESG-related blogs, and our staff continues to participate in a variety of industry events as speakers, moderators, panellists, and/or participants.

other description (2)

          Commercialize our RI platform
        

Key performance indicator

          New product launches and attract AUM
        

Progress achieved

We launched a new platform for our private client channel which provides a suite of “responsible” strategies as a core solution. Part of that platform consists of a new equity strategy – Responsible US Equities “RE-USE” which has specific ESG criteria. As well we developed two additional strategies – a carbon neutral equity strategy and a strategy that focuses on companies with improving ESG characteristics.  

Financial performance of investments

ESG characteristics of investments

Other activities

Key performance indicator

          Participation on panels and event attendance
        

Progress achieved

We are actively engaged in industry events, both as participants and as panellists. Responsible Investment personnel and others involved in ESG-focused strategies participate in a variety of industry events as participants, panellists, moderators, and/or speakers. We joined a new initiative, the Climate Action 100+, where we will collaborate with other investors to engage high-carbon emitting companies.   

Key performance indicator

          Documentation of engagement examples
        

Progress achieved

We maintain a database where our fundamental analysts and the RI team populate with material ESG engagements. We provide customized ESG engagement reports to several clients; as well we contributed to the UK Pension Fund Service ESG Factor publication in December 2018, and one of our case studies was published in the PRI and CFA “Guidance and Case Studies for ESG Integration:  Equities and Fixed Income in 2018.

06.2. Additional information.


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