Our investment approach looks for businesses which will enhance shareholder returns over the longer term. We view this as the guiding principal for any business we invest in. This is also, therefore, the cornerstone of our proxy voting policy. We have regular direct contact with managers of invested companies and this is the normal platform for us to ask the company to explain any actions which appear not to comply with our fundamental principle of enhancing long term shareholder returns. Where such an explanation is not justifiable in our view on the basis of management's fiduciary duty to shareholders or in terms of broader good governance standards, we will use the proxy voting system to vote against any such proposals.
All voting decisions are flagged to the wider team via the email instruction, complete with a summary of the rationale. Where there is some doubt around the seriousness of a particular issue and whether it merits a negative response, we discuss this as a group. There are no exceptions to this approach, and given our very focused portfolio of holdings and low turnover we are able to give each voting decision due consideration (eg checking the background of directorship candidates etc).