For most teams company meetings form part of an ongoing and long-term relationship with the companies invested in making individual instances of engagement difficult to isolate.
Our Stewart Investors team noted:
09.1 – This may include engagement with the same company more than once. We do not have the granularity of data to complete this further.
We consider every interaction with a company to be a form of engagement. We believe every company meeting gives us the opportunity to build relationships and engage if we feel it is necessary. Given our long-term approach (3-to-5 year view), company meetings may also flag potential future engagement topics. In 2019 we held c.1500 meeting with companies.
The 76% quoted for individual engagement of the proportion of companies engaged with, out of total listed equities portfolio relates to meetings only which understates our level of engagement. This does not take into account other forms of engagement such as letters and telephone calls.
Currently, we cannot provide any further granularity to this number.
Our global listed infrastructure investment team noted:
Over the 12 months to 31 December 2019, the global listed infrastructure investment team engaged with companies on ESG-specific topics many times. On 17 occasions, sustainability-related issues formed a substantial part of the main topic of discussion. Key issues discussed included:
• Management succession planning
• Board composition and experience
• Board tenure and independence
• Remuneration – targets set for both financial and non-financial KPIs
• Board diversity
• Capital management
• Auditor independence
• Alignment of interests
• Meeting a 2 Degree Scenario
• Levelised cost of renewable technologies
• Evolution of the competitive landscape, and renewable deployment opportunities globally
• Ways to support the further development of renewables, including government subsidies and bill impact
• Technological innovation – batteries, decentralised grids, electric vehicles, assessment of water quality
• Net Zero
• Health and safety
• Customer satisfaction and customer solutions
• Implications of higher customer rates / charges
• Stakeholder engagement for environmental asset siting (eg building new roads, pipelines etc)
Our Australian Equity Growth/ Equity Income team noted:
Over the 12 months to 31 December 2019, the Australian Equities Growth team had 307 engagements across 96 companies. Of these we had 32 meetings directly on ESG issues across 19 companies.