Our service provider Robeco has a comprehensive voting policy based on 20 years of experience and insights, and incorporates specific policy wishes in its mandates where this is requested. They vote at almost all possible meetings relevant to our holdings, regardless of region or company. In practice, RPF only refrains from voting in specific cases of share blocking which prevent our ownership being recognized in the total number of votes allocated. In these cases, Robeco will assess the priority of the meeting and the voting impact of our positions.
Our voting analysis is based on the internationally-accepted principles of the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) and local guidelines. The ICGN principles provide a broad framework for assessing companies' corporate governance practices. They provide enough scope for companies to be assessed according to local standards, national legislation and corporate-governance codes of conduct. Our assessment also considers company-specific circumstances and the management's explanation of company policy. The policy is applicable for all shareholder meetings (AGM's and EGM's) voted for our equity funds.
The policy provides guidance on common proposals for shareholder meetings. Some principles can be applied rule based, where as other agenda items require more assessment. The Robeco voting analysts use assessment frameworks and weekly meetings to make sure the principles are implemented consistently. Relevant voting decisions are made in collaboration with investment teams and engagement specialists. Information captured from the shareholder meeting is considered in forthcoming engagement activities.
With their voting and engagement practices, Robeco aims to encourage the management teams of companies in which we invest to implement good corporate governance and responsible policies to increase long-term shareholder value while encouraging responsible corporate behavior.