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Veritas Asset Management LLP

PRI reporting framework 2019

You are in Direct - Listed Equity Active Ownership » Outputs and outcomes

Outputs and outcomes

LEA 09. Number of companies engaged with, intensity of engagement and effort

Indicate the proportion of companies from your listed equities portfolio with which your organisation engaged with during the reporting year.
We did not complete any engagements in the reporting year.

Number of companies engaged

(avoid double counting, see explanatory notes)

Proportion of companies engaged with, out of total listed equities portfolio

Individual / Internal staff engagements

12
17.14

Collaborative engagements

1
1.42

09.2. Indicate the proportion breakdown of engagements conducted within the reporting year by the number of interactions (including interactions made on your behalf)

No. of interactions with a company
% of engagements
One interaction
2 to 3 interactions
More than 3 interactions
Total
100%

09.3. 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

09.5. Additional information. [Optional]


LEA 10. Engagement methods

10.1. Indicate which of the following your engagement involved.

specify

          We often access professional third-party opinions including regulators, lawyers, competitors etc. before making a recommendation to management.
        

10.2. Additional information. [Optional]


LEA 11. Examples of ESG engagements

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

ESG Topic
Company leadership issues
Conducted by
Objectives

Comcast (Information Technology) United States

We engaged with Comcast over concerns the company may be prepared to overpay for the assets of Twenty First Century Fox (Fox) and in so doing lead to the destruction of shareholder capital. 

Scope and Process

The rationale for bidding for Fox was understood. Individuals are increasingly turning to streaming services and moving away from video. Typically, people sign up to 2-3 services (maybe from a selection that include offerings from Amazon (Prime), Netflix, Hulu (held by Fox, Disney, Comcast) YouTube (Alphabet). There is maybe room for one more key player and that could be Disney or Comcast (either of which would gain control of Hulu with a Fox acquisition). Both Disney and Comcast were claiming this is too good an opportunity to miss which did not sound like the assets would be picked up at fair value. The key is Comcast can still perform well providing the broadband that all the streaming services rely on. It was arguably better for management to buy their own stock on 8x earnings than overpay for Fox.

Outcomes
ESG Topic
Climate Change|General ESG
Conducted by
Objectives

Thermo Fisher Scientific (Healthcare) United States

As previously highlighted, our voting policy is a customised version of the AMNT Red Lines which we apply on a global basis. If one of 37 Red Lines is breached, we either comply with the recommendation or explain why we have not. It helps to give our clients more informed reporting on issues that are becoming increasingly sensitive. One such red line relates to management having committees in place, such as a climate change committee chaired by a Board member. If they do not, the red line vote recommendation is to vote against senior management at the AGM. Earlier in the year we voted against the red line vote recommendation of vote "AGAINST" the re-election of Jim Manzi the Chairman at Thermo Fisher. The company has performed well for shareholders and there is no evidence that the company's activities negatively effect the environment.

Scope and Process

We raised with management that a Red Line had been triggered and the vote recommendation was to vote "AGAINST". Whilst we did not vote in line with the vote recommendation, we do believe the company should consider creating a climate change committee. In Q2 2018 the company management requested a meeting to discuss ESG and the issues that were sensitive to clients. The CEO attended the meeting.

A discussion was had on the increasing sensitivity to climate change and that shareholders are looking to management to disclose how they intend to monitor their impact.

This provides an example of how Red Lines can be most effective. Some are arguably blunt and they should not be applied blindly without detailed consideration.  We certainly do not use them in that way. We believe working with management is a far more effect way of preserving relationships and instigating change.

 

Outcomes

11.2. Additional information. [Optional]

Example 1  - "other" Comcast pulled out of buying Fox.


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