On-the-ground, globally integrated research is our basis for identifying long-term investment opportunities. We commit substantial resources to global research - our analysts in aggregate make thousands of research visits around the world each year. The strong, long-term relationships our investment professionals develop with a company board and management enable us to maintain an active approach to stewardship of the companies in which we invest on behalf of clients.
Engagement with companies is an essential element of our investment process. Our analysts and portfolio managers engage directly with companies, meeting regularly with senior management and often with other board members such as the company chair. This provides us with access to engage with companies on issues of concern. Where our investment professionals identify an issue relevant to the long-term value of a company, they (where appropriate, with the assistance of our governance or ESG team) will engage with management on that issue. Management's response to our questioning - their understanding of the issue and the steps they take to address it and minimise risks - can provide a useful input in assessing the implications for our investment thesis and view on the quality of management. Management quality, in turn, is a key factor in our decisions regarding investment in a company; as such engagement occurs at all stages of the investment process.
We consider that our primary duty to clients is to act in their best financial interests. We will consider intervening where we think it is likely to achieve a materially better financial outcome for the client. Meeting with company management is part and parcel of our investment process and engagement would be a natural extension of this approach where there are issues of concern to our investment professionals.
Relevant policies are available on our company websites:
https://www.americanfunds.com/individual/policies-faq.html (American Funds)
https://www.capitalgroup.com/intermediaries/gb/en/about/responsible-investing.html (Luxembourg funds) and
https://www.capitalgroup.com/institutions/gb/en/about/responsible-investing.html (Institutional accounts)