The Group Board is responsible for Liontrust’s corporate obligations, including our obligations as a PRI signatory and under the various other commitments we have made on ESG issues such as the TCFD. This includes reviewing executive actions and ensuring that the report and accounts and other reporting provides a full and fair account of our activities. The main Board ensures that climate related issues are included in strategy discussions. The Board benefits from a NED member who has extensive knowledge on ESG factors.
The Audit & Risk Committee, a subcommittee of the main board has been formally tasked with keeping these reporting obligations under review and receives a regular report on the Group’s Governance and Stewardship activities at each meeting and holds the management team to account at these meetings.
The Group management committee is responsible for the implementation of the Board Strategy and the day to day management of Climate related risks and opportunities. It is also responsible for all fund or portfolio related climate risks or opportunities and the successful integration of climate risks into the group risk framework.
The group also hold a regular Fund Managers Meeting – a quarterly discussion group to ensure fund managers participate in the development of tools and policies including ESG initiatives.
Governance and Stewardship for the Group is overseen by the Head of Risk who reports into the Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee and is a member of the Management Committee.
Last year we performed full ESG analytics for all of our investments so that we can start to measure our environmental impact across the Group and can identify where we are most at risk. Liontrust are in the process of engaging an external ESG provider to provide ESG and controversy data for all holdings held by investment teams. All investment teams currently receive data on Governance of their holdings supplied by ISS. All investment teams implicitly consider ESG factors to ensure they invest clients’ money responsibly.
Liontrust Sustainable Investment team's investment approach is one of full integration of ESG issues into investment decisions. The Sustainable team do not have separate fund management and ESG teams; instead every investment team member is responsible for all aspects of financial and ESG factors relating to the investment decision. Team members are responsible for clearly defined sectors and cover stocks within their respective sector. Each team member has responsibility for monitoring the major trends and themes in their sector, identifying investment opportunities, assessing the ESG performance of those opportunities, integrating that information into forecast earnings and valuation, submitting investment recommendations for our funds, engaging with companies and subsequently conducting all proxy voting for investee companies. Because of this integrated approach, investment team members engage with companies across a broad range of issues relating to steps in our investment process e.g. screening criteria, sustainable investment themes and company-specific environmental, social and governance issues.
The team have developed this approach over more than 18 years that they have been investing responsibly as they believe it is the best way to deliver investment performance. Their track record strongly supports this view.