The Jupiter Independent Funds Team engaged in a year-end data gathering exercise which requested the provision of a range of data, from pure voting statistics through to ESG & engagement reports for the previous year. Taking all the funds held within Jupiter Merlin, 93% are signatories of the UN PRI and 95% are signatories of the UK Stewardship Code; 93% did not engage in stock lending and votes were placed on 98% of resolutions of the underlying companies held within the Jupiter Merlin Portfolios (data for year end 2019, for the Unit Trusts excluding Jupiter Merlin Real Return).
As has been previously mentioned, the Jupiter Independent Funds Team recognises that ESG reporting is evolving: it differs widely by asset class, region, fund house, fund team and portfolio manager. This therefore requires the Team to evolve our own processes of ESG data collection and reporting, something that is constantly under review. Moving forward we are looking to produce a more standardised method of evaluating managers through the use of a broad questionnaire, which will be sent in anticipation of our meetings. It must be noted however that we do not seek to compromise our case-by-case approach of assessing managers, but we hope that it will provide an ability to both compare our underlying managers on a more level playing field whilst also learning more of the intricacies that each of them face. This is just one example of how we aspire to improve our data collection and analysis going forward in order to better serve our clients.