As discussed earlier, our whole investment philosophy and mission is a commitment to responsible investment, and serve as a responsible investment policy. The firm was founded with the mission of proving the business case for sustainable investing, with our founders sharing the conviction that sustainability insight is a driver of long-term returns, and we have built an investment process that systematically reviews the material ESG factors that affect business and management performance. Further information on how ESG issues are integrated in our Global (public) equity strategy is disclosed on our website: https://www.generationim.com/strategy/global-equity.html
We also disclose selected highlights of our research to emphasise the business case for integrating ESG research into financial analysis and promote long-term thinking within the capital markets: https://www.generationim.com/research-centre/. Our updated response to the UK Stewardship Code can also be viewed on our website, which details our approach to engagement and our role as responsible long-term investors, as linked above: https://www.generationim.com/media/1495/generation-im-stewardship-code.pdf. We also provide our approach to Stewardship and our Engagement policy on our website https://www.generationim.com/media/1620/generation-im_stewardship-and-engagement-policy_dec-19.pdf.
Our proxy voting guidelines are made available to clients on request. Generation has developed a proxy voting policy which is used to determine a fair and consistent approach to voting company proxies. Generation’s investment analysts use, amongst other information, research material provided by the Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”), but reach voting decisions independent of ISS’s voting recommendations. Generation takes its responsibilities as shareholder very seriously and engages with companies via constructive dialogue as a means of enhancing and protecting our client’s investments. In addition, the analysis of corporate governance directly informs our assessment of the management quality of each company, a factor which Generation believes to be a key driver of strong long-term performance. Generation sees being an engaged shareholder as an integral part of responsible ownership. Generation has appointed ISS as its proxy voting agent to provide notice of all company meetings and to ensure Generation's voting instructions are effectively carried out. As part of this process, Generation provides regular portfolio holding updates to ISS and reconciles its records with those held by ISS to ensure the correct numbers of shares are identified for the ballots. Generation uses ISS as our independent voting service provider because of the depth of research it provides. However, Generation does not automatically adopt global proxy voting rules from any third-party service as a default setting. Generation believes each one of its analysts should review the relevant corporate governance issues on a case-by-case basis and exercise their best judgement given their knowledge of the company concerned. If Separate Accounts have specific voting policies that differ from Generation's and require Generation to vote their proxies, Generation will try to accommodate such policies. Generally, where a Separate Account does not authorize Generation to vote proxies, the Separate Account will receive proxy voting statements directly from their custodian. Where Generation receives “Class Action” documents on behalf of a Fund, Generation will consider such documents and consider whether the Fund should either participate in the Class Action or opt out of any Class Action notices received. Generation shall, however, be under no obligation to act as a “representative” in such an action. Generation will determine if it is in the best interest of the Fund to seek to recover monies from a Class Action. If Class Action documents are received by Generation for a Separate Account, Generation will gather any requisite documentation and information it has received and forward it to the Separate Account owner, or their custodian, to enable them to respond at their discretion.